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Get rid of whatever defiles

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | November 5, 2023 | Nehemiah 3:14


Malchijah the son of Rechab, leader of the district of Beth Haccerem, repaired the Refuse Gate; he built it and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. Nehemiah 3:14 (NJKV)


The journey through the gates of Jerusalem from the Sheep Gate through to the Valley Gate has now taken us to the Dung Gate. The Dung Gate, also known as the Refuse Gate, was at the southernmost tip of the city, near the Pool of Siloam. It was the main exit to the Valley of Hinnom, where the city disposed of all of its garbage. The sanitary disposal of waste materials is essential to the health of a city. This gate did not have a beautiful name, but it performed an important service. It reminds us that, like the city, each of us must get rid of whatever defiles us, or it may destroy us. 2 Corinthians 7:1 says “So, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. The Dung Gate represents the need for purification and repentance. Spiritually, it reminds us of the importance of confessing our sins and seeking God’s forgiveness. It symbolizes the cleansing and renewal that comes through repentance and the removal of spiritual impurities.

Every believer has been saved from their sin once and for all, but we still need daily cleansing from sin along the way. These sins will affect our fellowship with God and also affect our fellowship with others. God has provided cleansing through the blood of Jesus. Everyone needs to have a dung gate in their lives, otherwise, we will be in bad shape because all the refuse in our lives is accumulated, and it will make you smell to high heaven in the sight of God and man. And if this gate is broken down so none of the rubbish can be cleansed away, this needs to be repaired. Through the Dung Gate, the trashes were taken out of Jerusalem, to the valley of Hinnom, where those trashes were burnt. In the same way as trash couldn't stink and smell bad in Jerusalem, but was burnt in the valley of Hinnom, in the dumpster, so sins must die from the heart of the believer through faith in Jesus and His finished work.


In what ways have you allowed impure thoughts, actions, or influences to enter your life, and how have they affected your spiritual journey? What steps can you take to surrender these defiling influences to God, seeking forgiveness and guidance to cleanse your heart and mind? Confess them to God and repent because He is still faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from every unrighteousness.


Dear Lord, I come before You with a humble heart, acknowledging my shortcomings and the sins that have defiled my spirit. I ask for Your forgiveness, Your cleansing, and Your guidance. Wash away the impurities within me, purify my heart, and make me whole in Your presence. Grant me the strength to serve You faithfully and to walk in the light of Your love. May my actions and thoughts be pleasing to You, and may I be a vessel of Your grace in this world I pray this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ Amen.




The Hebrew words for Refuse Gate is שַׁעַר הָאַשְׁפּוֹת" (Sha'ar HaAshpoth): "Sha'ar" means gate, and "HaAshpoth" refers to refuse or dung.

The use of the term Refuse Gate in Scripture connotes:

  • Hygienic Function: The Dung Gate, as its name implies, likely had a practical function related to hygiene and waste management. It was a gate through which the city's refuse was discarded.

  • Ceremonial Implications: In some biblical contexts, waste and impurity were associated with ceremonial uncleanness. The repair of the Dung Gate could symbolize a commitment to maintaining cleanliness and ritual purity.

for our study through Nehemiah, the term Refuse Gate in the context of the repair of the walls of Jerusalem signifies:

  1. Acknowledging the Unpleasant: The repair of the Dung Gate prompts reflection on our willingness to address and repair areas of life that might be considered unpleasant or undesirable.

  2. Leadership in Service: Malchijah, as a leader, takes on the task of repairing the Dung Gate. This highlights the leadership principle of serving in areas that others might find distasteful, demonstrating humility and commitment to the well-being of the community.

  3. Renewal and Transformation: The transformation of the Dung Gate from a point of waste disposal to a structurally sound gate signifies the potential for renewal and transformation even in areas of life that seem discarded or wasted.


How can we, like Malchijah, demonstrate leadership and commitment in addressing and transforming areas of life that might be considered unpleasant or discarded, turning them into sources of renewal and positive change?

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