From The Hidden Passages Series
The twelve gates were twelve pearls; each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. Revelation 21:21
The Bible describes the New Jerusalem or heaven in vivid detail. As we keep in mind that there is meaning buried within symbolism that is used throughout the Scriptures, we see God is trying to tell us something about the Gates of heaven. Why did God make the 12 gates into his holy city out of pearl? Why not gold or rubies? The ancients consider pearls to be of the highest value among precious stones. The fact that these gates are comprised of one individual pearl speaks volumes. Questions arise… where do you get 12 massive pearls for huge gates, for walls that are 200 feet tall? Are there oysters that big in heaven or on other planets? That may not be as important as the fact that God uses pearls in the first place.
A pearl starts out as a single grain of sand that finds itself inside an oyster or mollusk. No matter how hard the shell tries to expel the irritating piece of sand, it can’t. Then a special transformation takes place. What was an unwanted, irritating situation for the oyster, becomes an environment for creating a priceless gem. From the shell of a mollusk, the sand particle is slowly covered up by calcium carbonate in tiny crystalline form, which becomes deposited in concentric layers. Layer upon layer, line upon line, precept upon precept, something special takes place. A beautiful pearl is created.
Simply put, those who have identified with the life of a pearl, have great access to the experiential life of heaven and the kingdom of God. Those who have painfully endured situations or have held their ground over the years in difficult and irritating places, are those who can be transformed into something pure and priceless. These are the ones with a good and noble heart who become better in their situation, not bitter over their constraining circumstances.
That one thing that has been a constant thorn in your flesh, that one big irritant or painful trial that you struggle with, can become a pearl of great price in your life. The Lord may be allowing you to go through these painful experiences to prepare you for greater access and authority in the kingdom of God. Perhaps the very trials and tribulations that you have been faithfully enduring through the years, qualifies you as an entryway into a particular aspect of the tangible presence of God. The Lord has covered you with layers of grace and wisdom, and now you have become a priceless passageway for others to experience the kingdom.
Maybe we should take a moment and shift our focus on things from God’s perspective. Could it be, that these “Gates of Pearl” represent the Lord putting up with billions of us, and our persistent, resistant sinful behavior for thousands of years? Could His choice to patiently endure with us, instead of punishing us, create these 200-foot-tall gates of pearl into His kingdom? Yes, I know I may be stretching things a bit here. But could these huge pearly gates be a heavenly symbol of how large God’s enduring love is? I can imagine every time I would walk by those pearly gates, I would remember how precious those gates would be to me…and everyone entering through them.
Many today look to those who are outwardly successful and prosperous in business and in the Church for knowledge on how to experience God’s blessing. We might want to pay attention to those who have remained faithful during great pain and suffering for directions to the right passageway. After all, it was God who chose to make His gateways of pearl. I think He may be telling us something about how we truly enter His kingdom…what do you think?
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46