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Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.'” (Numbers 19:1-2)

In the previous devotion, we quoted the book of Job and elaborated on the concept that only God can bring something clean from something that is unclean. Building upon that point, there is something in Scripture that speaks to this concept in a way that I have always found interesting. As far as food goes, oysters are considered to be unclean (Leviticus 11) and yet produce one of the world’s greatest gems, the pearl. In the gospel of Matthew, Messiah  alludes to the pearl as being “holy” (Matthew 7:6). In another passage, He refers to the “pearl of great price” to make a point about the Kingdom (Matthew 13:45). In other words, something of great value comes from something that, in one context at least, is considered unclean.

Now consider the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem are pearls. In fact, each gate in the city is a single pearl (Revelation 21:21). Pair this with the fact that, in the Temple, protocol required guardians to be set at the gates to prevent anything unclean from entering (2 Chronicles 23:19). Likewise the Bible says that, in the New Jerusalem, “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). That means that only those who have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb will be able to pass through those gates of pearl.

So the point is, perhaps the reason God made the gates of the New Jerusalem to be a pearl is to remind us of the concept we have been discussing. In other words, those who will be allowed to enter the city will have to pass through those gates. Each time we do, no doubt, we will be provoked to acknowledge that it is possible only because we were redeemed by the only One who can bring something pure from something that was defiled.

And so, as the Scripture says: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). That is something that all who have been redeemed should never take for granted. Rather let us say, “Amen” and let us continue to be thankful for this incredible blessing and gift He has given us.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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