1972. What a banner year for my husband and me. Why? That’s the year Willie and I got married. Something else happened a couple of weeks before our wedding, an event which brought down a powerful man in the Nation’s Capital. In an attempt to bug offices of the Democratic Party’s National Committee, five men broke into Watergate, a hotel in D.C. Their goal–to help President Nixon’s re-election campaign. A major investigation occurred and heads rolled. After a series of events, the president resigned in disgrace. It’s amazing how a name, originally carrying a positive meaning, changed into something so negative. There’s another Water Gate (different spelling) which has significance for you and me.
In the eighth chapter of Nehemiah, we find God’s people gathered AS ONE in an open square in front of the Water Gate, a place which led down to a spring. They had recently returned from captivity and gathered for the reading of the Law of Moses. Under Babylonian rule, many had worshiped foreign gods, married foreign women and adapted various customs of their captors. Some had been born in captivity and had no idea who they were. Nehemiah enlisted the help of Ezra, a man skilled in studying the word, to read out loud to the people. When they heard the word, they realized how far they had fallen as a nation and wept bitterly. Nehemiah told the people not to mourn any longer. He said in Chapter 8, verse 10, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” All the people quieted down, set out to help others and celebrated. God’s grace overrode His judgment. That’s good news!
What about you and me? Maybe you’ve been bound by fear or doubt due to sickness or divorce or unfulfilled relationships or unemployment or completed financial ruin or wayward children. You name it. Perhaps you’re thinking there’s no way my circumstances will ever change. You feel alone. The good news is GOD IS WITH YOU. HE PROMISED NEVER TO LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU. Circumstances change but He does not. Are you thirsty? It’s time to bathe in the water of the Word–daily.
We are a part of the Body of Christ. We are our brother’s keeper. Let us reach out for help or to give help when we see others in need. Our turn may be just around the corner! No one need sorrow alone. Then let us remember Neh.8:10 again, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Let us remember the cross but not stop there. He rose on the third day! Hallelujah! We will trust in the name of the Lord!
Assignment: Read Neh. 8:13 – 18 and answer:
1. What was the discovery?
2. What did the people do?
Until next week, let’s grow together.