A Nationwide Revival Began At The Watergate (Part 1)
Dear Visionary Leader:
In June of 1972, five men, led by E. Howard Hunt, a former C.I.A. agent, broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee. The D.N.C. was housed in a Washington, D.C., office complex called the Watergate. This activity was code-named “the plumber’s operation.” Its director was G. Gordon Liddy, a former F.B.I. agent. The break-in was authorized by H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, two of President Richard Nixon’s top advisors.
An investigation followed, led by Senator Sam Ervin from North Carolina. The relentless questioning by Mr. Ervin resulted in White House Counsel John W. Dean III pointing an accusing finger at the President of the United States. In August of 1974, President Nixon resigned in disgrace under the threat of impeachment, and “Watergate” became a household word synonymous with scandal. America was disgraced and embarrassed before the world over a place called Watergate.
Nehemiah 8:1-17 talks about a place called the “Water Gate.” It was at the Water Gate that Israel experienced a national repentance and revival. Nehemiah and Ezra had just led the Israelites in rebuilding the ruined walls of Jerusalem. Now, with the temple and the walls completed, these men were more interested in what happened inside the temple than in the buildings themselves. They wanted more than just survival. They wanted revival!
With all the people gathered in the street in front of the Water Gate, Ezra, the priest, stood before the people with the Word of God in hand. The Word was read from morning until afternoon. As a result of reading and heeding the Word, repentance came, and revival was the climax.
It is anointed preaching of the Scriptures that steers the sinner to Christ and strengthens the saints in the church. Today, there is a famine in the land for Bible preaching–preaching that convicts men and challenges minds. Preaching that is biblical, sensible, practical, and livable. The kind of preaching that exposes sin, exhorts the saint, and exalts the Savior. Genuine repentance and revival will be the routine of the day when the church gets into the Word of God. The church needs a Bible-based, Christ-centered Water Gate experience. Please notice the progressive impact the Word of God had upon Israel. First, there was:
1. A Hunger for the Word (v. 1)
In Nehemiah 8:1, we see Israel’s hunger for the Word of God. There was an assemblyto hear the Word. The Scripture states that the people gathered themselves together in one place. There is something special about God’s people coming together to hear the Word proclaimed.
There was also an agreementto hear the Word. This massive crowd came together as “one man.” A true hunger for the Word of God results in a united people, desirous to do the will of God.
Last, there was an askingto hear the Word. The people asked Ezra to bring out the Law of Moses. They were desperate for the Word. Israel had gone from rebuilding the walls to requiring the Word. They came to realize that the Book is more important than the building, and the Word is more important than the walls. Israel clearly understood that revival was not found in man-made monuments; it was fostered in a hunger for the Word of God.
How hungry are you for God’s Word? Most Christians are very religious when it comes to eating three meals per day, seven days a week. It is difficult for them to conceive of going several days without food of any kind. Still, many go days, weeks, and months without hunger for the Word of God. The church is undernourished and unable to resist temptation because the world is loved in, but the Word is left out!
It has been the hunger for the things of God that has made America great. The pilgrims wrote in the Mayflower Compact that their purpose was “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” When the pilgrims got off that ship at Plymouth Rock, they all knelt on the beach and prayed, placing a cross there. The first public building to be constructed in America was a church. The first public meeting conducted was a worship service.
It was a hunger for God’s blessing that drove the Continental Congress to their knees following the speech by Benjamin Franklin, when he declared, “…that God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the sacred writings, ‘except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’ I also believe that without His concurring we shall succeed in this political building no better than than the builders of Babel.” After this oratory, the Congress knelt and prayed fervently that God would guide them. The Constitution became a reality. The Senate was required to open every day with prayer, and this nation was born of a hunger for the things of God.
It has been said that the tremendous economic difference between South America and North America is not due to the lack of natural resources; rather, it is that men went to South America seeking gold, while men came to North America seeking God. The church is in perilous need of a Water Gate revival, beginning with a hunger for the Word of God. Are you willing to go to the Water Gate?
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking