Water Gate. Few who lived through the 70’s could forget the political intrigue that took place in Washington and the break in at the headquarters of the Democratic Party National Committee offices. It is complicated incident froth with cover-ups, scandals and political paranoia, which resulted in Nixon’s near impeachment and his stepping down from the highest office of our nation. Yet probably few know the Biblical significance of that name.
The Water Gate can be found throughout the Old Testament, but it’s particularly important in Nehemiah 8 after the Israelites had finished repairing the walls of Jerusalem under the governor’s lead. The nation gathered in front of the Water Gate to hear Ezra, the priest and scribe, read the Law of Moses. They hadn’t heard the reading of the law for many years because they had been held in captivity by the Babylonian and Persian Empire. Therefore, this proclamation of the law had deep political significance for the Israelites because their nation was build upon it. Our once great nation chose this name for its importance in establishing law based on biblical understanding and principles.
If Nixon had ascribed to a true belief in such a God, he would not have made the worst blunder in his long political career that led to his demise. Lack of trust in God and reliance on faulty human wisdom causes people to often botch things up, just like Nixon. Just like today. Nixon wasn’t ignorant of the law, neither are we. He just miscalculated the effect of his actions. Just like us.
I’m no political commentator, but I know corruption and poor policy when I see it and its effects. Yet many things that are happening in Washington are a reflection of what’s happening in many sectors of society today—overspending, dishonesty, power plays, job jockeying, compromising moral values for the bottom line, wasting time and money on our own pleasures and so on. I’m not trying to play the blame game, but it’s about time both America and its politicians start taking responsibility for their actions. We must evaluate our lives and see what can be done to enact positive change or else we might wind up just like Nixon, with no one to blame but ourselves and our faulty human reasoning.
We might think we can plead ignorance and try to cover up our actions, but it doesn’t work. The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in Romans 1. “Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became foolish (v20-22).” Nature itself proclaims the existence of God and his invisible attributes: beauty, complexity, attention to detail, laws and rhythms, power and strength. Let us not be foolish as some, but be wise, especially as we ourselves and as a nation face the Water Gates of our lives. Let’s not rely solely on human reasoning to figure out our next move or cover up our actions when we are guilty. Let us consult God, acknowledge and listen to His immutable laws, and trust His ways. Perhaps there is still more time, if we gather together at the water gate.
My next article will explore the Living Water Gate. If you enjoyed this article, you can read others like this by clicking on the subscribe button above.