Posted on February 7, 2011 - by Audrey
THE WATER GATE
Reading The Bible Aloud
About a year ago I had a dream that I was walking with a group of young adults to organize a wedding. Ryan Streeter was in front of the group and I was at the rear. On our way to find a venue for the wedding celebration, we stopped at a large cafeteria. Ryan looked in the door and waved for me to come and see what was inside. I looked in to see hundreds of young people sitting at lunch tables with Bibles opened. They were all reading different portions of the Bible out loud. It sounded like a noisy lunch room. Ryan’s eyes lit up and so did mine. He said, “Let’s go in here!”
We sat down at a table and each of us opened our Bibles. It was like we were sitting down to eat and opening a lunch box. We were consuming the Word. I looked at the clock and it was about 4PM. We planned to go to a movie, but all of us agreed that this would be much more satisfying.
I opened my Bible to 2 Chronicles and the girl next to me opened her Bible to Galatians. When my eyes looked at the words I was launched into the story. I read the whole book and when it was over I looked at the clock. It was 10PM. The time had flown by and I was aware that I had been in a different realm, experiencing the Living Word. We understood that if we each read a different portion of the Bible, we would have a well balanced understanding as we went back out into the world which is why we had picked varying portions of the Bible to read.
OPENING THE WATER GATE
In the book of Nehemiah, after God’s people rebuilt the wall around the city of God, they gathered at The Water Gate to hear Ezra, the priest and scribe, read the Law aloud. It had been years since the people of God heard the Living Word, and after reverently listening, they began to weep and repent. Great revival resulted (Nehemiah 8).
It was very significant that the people gathered at The Water Gate because it was a place where running streams of water would enter the city underground and go into the Temple of God where the priests would wash. The priests had to wash in fresh, running water (rather than a tub) in order to be properly purified to minister to God. When Ezra gathered the people at The Water Gate, it was likely that he was remembering how the people had gathered at Horeb to receive the Ten Commandments, and it was also the same place where God released living waters from the rock to quench their thirst in the desert. The Water Gate was the portion of the city where fresh, living waters entered for people to drink and bathe in, and this was where Ezra chose to wash the the hearts of God’s people by reading the Word of God aloud.
“… all the people gathered as one in the square before the Water Gate. They asked Ezra, the teacher of the Law, to bring the Book of the Law of Moses which the Lord had given them (Nehemiah 8:1).”
Let THE WATER GATE BEGIN AT SANCTUARY MINISTRIES!
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