Years ago after we moved to Arlington, our home was invaded in the middle of the night by a cat burglar. The title fits the purpose. His desire was not just to rob and steal but to do it with the greatest of courage and stealth. Many thieves will break into a home or business when no one is home or when property is left open and unprotected. This invasion was in the middle of the night. He entered our bedroom and master bath while we were asleep in bed. At some point I woke up and scared him off, but not before he managed to take some valuable jewelry, my wallet and other assorted items. Our culture of locks and dors was immediately shifted.
This text from Isaiah always used to puzzle me. Open gates goes against our cultural teachings and fear. After the trauma of that night we became extremely conscience of locking doors and windows and making sure that everything was closed up. Our culture is a “locked up” culture. Lock your doors. Gate your communities. Bar the windows. As the Lord was revealing the purpose of gates and gatekeepers in preparation for my book Keeper of the Keys, I was confused with this command in Isaiah to keep the gates open at all times. If gates are meant to let things in and keep other things out – how can that happen if the gates are always open?
When preaching on this text I would simply say “keep your gates open to God’s revelation and don’t let anything contrary to Him and His character enter in.” But I never felt that that was the full truth on the matter. The Lord downloaded something more. He revealed to my heart a couple of marvelous truths about this passage.
- We are His gates and His gates are defined as praise and righteousness. As I draw near to Him in worship He allows me to hear His heart.
- As a result, His praise and righteousness flows from His throne through me (the gate) into the darkness of the world.
If the gates are closed, His praise, life and light cannot enter into the world through me. If I close my gates out of fear or in response to some past trauma I can not and will not be used as an instrument of God’s power. If I am more concerned about locking the doors to keep Satan out then opening the doors to release the power of God then I am failing as a gatekeeper. In other words – don’t lock the gates in fear of Satan, but fling them open to release the power and light of God into your workplace, home, school, church, etc. And that very light will cause Satan and darkness to flee.
The icing on the cake is this: Verse twelve of Isaiah 60 declares that the doors are to remain open so that the “wealth of the gentiles” may be brought in. As we remain steadfast and immovable in the praise and righteousness of God, not only will the power of God be released into the world but the wealth and riches of the world meant for the kingdom of God will be brought into God’s treasury.
FLING WIDE THOSE GATES!