Much later in the story of Esther we find another murderous plan. How many times in history has there been a plan to destroy the people God chose as His? It has never worked and it never will. They will be His chosen people to the end of time.
As in all good fairy stories our heroine was chosen to be queen instead of Vashti. She was in that position when Mordecai overheard the conversation. He told Queen Esther what was being planned, persuaded her to report it to the king and the two officials were put to death.
Once more the respected men of the time had their council meetings at the city gate. The city gate was where many disputes were settled, strangers were met, details of inheritance agreed upon and business affairs discussed. It was also the place where guilty people could be stoned to death.
In the picture described in the verse for today we can imagine Father God leaning out of a window in Heaven saying to those who are pleading for access that He never knew them. This is confirmed in the gospel of Matthew when Jesus talks about the end times.
Personally, I like the image of the road (representing our life choices), leading to a gate or a door. Remember that Jesus said He was the way, (meaning the road)! I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to The Father except through Me (John 14:6).
We could spend a lot of time thinking about the necessity of watching our words. A quick glance at the book of proverbs will give us an insight into the power of our spoken words. But what about the things that go in through the door of our mouths.
Each gate, made of a single pearl, is named after a tribe of Israel, and each is guarded by an angel. There are three on each side of the heavenly square but there is limited access to the Holy city. Only those who have washed their robes may go through.
Many of us can look back and see from our current perspective that past troubles really were a door to good things. But sadly it is hard to think like that when we are struggling with some major problem in our personal lives or the lives of our family.
There are many things in this story that we could focus on but as we are looking at doors the locked door is the most interesting. Rhoda the servant girl who went to see who was at the gate was so excited she ran back without opening the door!
Locked doors are no hindrance to the Spirit or for the angels. Many of us have known locked doors in some situation or other, a relationship, a job application, a financial need. And many of us have seen the Lord move miraculously in those situations in answer to our prayers.