Water Gate

Neh 8:2,3; “Then 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. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday.”
A few weeks ago there was an important date in the Jewish calendar. The date I am referring to is the 1stof Tishri, which signals the beginning of a new civil year. (Their religious calendar commences on the 1st of Nisan). All around the world Jewish people were celebrating what many of us know as ‘Rosh Hashanah’ or ‘The Feast of Trumpets’. During this time I was drawn to the only biblical noted observance of this particular feast. Mentioned in both Ezra and Nehemiah, the same story is told. We read about God’s people returning to Jerusalem after their 70 years in captivity in Babylon. The scene is set, and all the people are gathered together at the Water Gate whilst the Law is heralded to them by Ezra the faithful scribe.
There were many things that attracted my attention in these passages, but none stronger than the structure we know as the Water Gate. There were ten gates around the city of Jerusalem and yet this is the gate that they all met at. Sitting to the north of the Fountain and Dung Gates, the Water Gate would keep a constant flow of water into the Holy City. There may have been certain circumstances that led them to meet at the Water Gate rather than any other gate but I find it tantalizingly thought provoking to say the least. On this special day in their history, this 1st of Tishri, this New Year’s Day, there was about to be a new beginning and it was all going to be centered on God’s Holy Word. A Revival and Spiritual Renewal were about to take place in the great city, that had not seen since the days of King Josiah and the high priest Hilkiah. So what is the spiritual importance of the Water Gate?

The Apostle Paul states in his letter to the Ephesians that there is a ‘Spiritual Cleansing’ when we are ‘washed in the Word’. Furthermore, In the Gospel of John we see Jesus state that the disciples were clean because of the ‘word He spoke to them’. If then, the Word of God has a cleansing aspect to it, it is fitting that the Water Gate is where everyone gathered. The question for you and I today is this; Do you/I need to revisit the Water Gate? Do we need to be submersed in God’s Word in ways that we have not been before, so that a ‘Spiritual Renewal’ can take place? Let us then surround ourselves with God’s Word, let us not neglect it and cease to bathe in it. If we visit the Water Gate and hear His voice, I pray that our journey to the neighboring Fountain Gate, where the living waters of Christ flow in abundance, will in turn flood the earth with blessing….