…then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates. -Judges 5:11
To go down to the gates, however, means something else, for citizens went down to the gates to exercise authority and judgment. He that is in Christ discerneth spirits, and separateth between the excellent and the reprobate. “The spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” The saints, being led of the Spirit, discern between the precious and the vile; they know the voice of their Shepherd, but a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers. The saints judge this world, and by their living testimony condemn its sin. “Know ye not that we shall judge angels” in the day of the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ? Instead of being judged and following others, they who love God become the leaders in right, and are as God’s mouth rebuking iniquity.
To go down to the gates signified also to go forth to war. When a Christian man is saved, he is not content with his own safety, he longs to see others blessed. He can now go out of the gates to attack the foe who once held him in bondage, and therefore he girds on his weapon. When will the church of God be inflamed by the sacred desire of carrying the war for Christ into the enemy’s territory?… If you are saved, you must seek to save others; if you have received the light, carry it into the dark places. If you have escaped from the jaw of the lion, and the paw of the bear, now go forth to fight with the monster and tear others from his power. ~ C.H. Spurgeon