Nehemiah 8:1-3 (AMP) Then all the people gathered together as one man at the open square in front of the Water Gate; and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it, in front of the open square which was in front of the Water Gate, from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and women, those who could understand; and all the people listened carefully to the Book of the Law.
I have just finished reading the Bible in chronological order. I have yet to do a rapid Bible read through in 90 days. This is only the second time I have read it completely through. It is not an essential thing to accomplish to be a good Christian, but I do believe it should be a desire of our hearts. This is one of the areas that I would say would be “works” oriented. It does not matter how much scripture you read in a day, how much you memorize or how much you pray. Do you follow the teachings? Do you love to the extent that Jesus did?
As I started a new plan, I decided to start with Haggai, Ezra and Nehemiah. Nehemiah being a type and shadow of the Holy Spirit, as his name means Comforter. Nehemiah was not a priest and he was not a prophet. What he did was have a burden for the people. He desired for them to be restored. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit will do in our lives. Jesus is not just my savior, He is the Prince of Wholeness (Isaiah 9:6-7 MSG).
In the first chapter of Haggai he pointed out the people were concerned about their personal needs and they just couldn’t get it together, although they knew God called them back to this place. He said twice “Consider your ways.” The Israelites returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, focusing on rebuilding their homes, reestablishing their businesses, and creating comfortable lifestyles in their homeland. Yet they completely forgot the importance of rebuilding the temple and reestablishing their relationship with God.
Haggai 2:3, 6-9 (AMP) Who is left among you who saw this house (temple) in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more, in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the desirable and precious things of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory and splendor,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I shall give [the ultimate] peace and prosperity,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
In the book of Ezra we see them come back to rebuild the temple. It did not look the same way that it did under Solomon. Those that knew it’s previous glory mourned. Those who never saw it before rejoiced that it was there. It is all about perspective.
In Nehemiah, he sees the importance of rebuilding the walls and the gates. Each one has significance but I want to concentrate on the Water Gate. Located adjacent to the Kidron Valley, the Gihon Spring was accessible via the Water Gate. The Kidron Valley served as a burial ground. This is the world’s largest Jewish cemetery, located next to the Mount of Olives. It shows their commitment to the faith.
Ephesians 5:26 (AMP) so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God]
Psalms 119:9 (TPT) How can a young man stay pure? Only by living in the Word of God and walking in its truth.
The Holy Spirit is the one who makes the word of God alive to us personally, allowing cleansing, encouragement and direction to take place in our life. This Word is so important to us and our restoration. Water yourself in the Word! Hold truth to the Word!!
It was of spiritual importance that the Word of God be read in front of the Water Gate. The Word was valuable to them. It should be valuable to you. It does not determine your salvation from Hell. It does not make you a better “Christian”. The Word of God is restoration. You will not know all that He has available to you unless you know what the Word says about it. Come dip with me in the water today, and when you are ready, we can go a little deeper. Desiring for more is where my heart is!
Great thought provoking words. Thank you for encouraging us and helping our growth.