10. The Inspection Gate

(Nehemiah 3:31)

The Inspection Gate, also called Muster Gate or Miphkad Gate. You may also have a footnote in your Bible that refers to it as Hammiphkad Gate.  Miphkad means ‘counting’ or ‘numbering’ and is the place where the King would inspect his troops, and number them.  Spiritually, this is the gate that signifies that we are to be examined by God as we serve His purposes in the world. Are we numbered among the people of God and ready for missional service in the world?

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:4, “I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted.  It is the Lord who judges/examines me.”  Paul is quite clear that all we have done in this one solitary life will face the purification of everything by holy fire (1 Cor 3:13).  In this way, it is the True King who Musters His army for inspection, and we all stand before the bema, the Judgment Seat of Christ: For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Cor. 5:10; cf. Romans 14:10), and this must happen because, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement” (Hebrews 9:27).

Thus, the Inspection Gate reminds us that we are being readied for the task of evangelisation. To bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.  This is our primary task for everyone on earth.  That’s why in the very next verse (1 Cor. 5:11), Paul says, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.”  And we do this because this is what the King wants.  Jesus said, “I will make you become fishers of men,” and “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And I am with you to the very end of the age” (Mk 1:17 & Mat. 28:19-20).  

Christian or not, everyone appears before Christ the King for inspection.  Are you ready for that?  Are you a soldier in God’s army in the world?  Are you terrified of being inspected?  This is a call to get right with God, believer or not; to trust Christ; to turn from darkness to light and become an ambassador of the King, through biblical repentance and a biblical faith.  And we do this by living in the light of God’s eternal view.  Psalm 39:4 says, “O LORD, make me to know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!”  

Finally, the Inspection Gate brings us to a close and in Nehemiah 3, the very last Gate named (3:32) is the very first one named (3:1):  The Sheep Gate.  The entire spiritual life, its disciplines and practices begin and end with the Good Shepherd, the Alpha and Omega of everything.  As we approach Easter, be reminded to examine yourself in the light of Christ, to prepare well as we celebrate another Easter.  And next week, we conclude with the key to it all:  Jesus said, “I am the gate…” (John 10:1-21).

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