Three Watergate Events posted by jwatson on Jan 18, 2016
A pundit (I wish I could give him credit, but I can’t remember who it was) recently quipped, “In our time, a person’s historical perspective goes back about as far as today’s breakfast.”
So, today I am boldly delving into the realm of the history of Watergate. There are three worthy of mention. Some will still remember the most recent Watergate; few will know anything about the other two.
Moving backward in time, the latest Watergate is an office building in Washington, D.C. This is the political Watergate. The year is 1974. Republican operatives break into the Democratic National committee headquarters in the Watergate building. This felony is discovered, traced to the White House, a massive cover-up ensues, leading to Richard M. Nixon resigning in disgrace as President of the United States. A momentous event.
The next Watergate transports us back to first century Israel. This is the military Watergate. The tense and tumultuous relationship between the occupier Rome, and the occupied Israel finally resulted in Rome invading and destroying Jerusalem and the outlying areas. The final stronghold was the fort on Masada, a rather large flat-topped mountain next to the Dead Sea. This is where the Jewish zealots and patriots who refused to surrender had gathered. In order to reach the top, the Romans built an earthen ramp they employed to gain access to Masada. At the top of the ramp was a gate that was turned into a literal Watergate. The outer and inner gates were framed and sealed with pitch, making it water tight. Having filled it with water, the zealots hoped the water would render the blows of the Roman’s battering ram ineffective. It proved unsuccessful and the Romans prevailed in the end.
The earliest and, in my opinion, most important Watergate is found in the Bible, being mentioned three times in Nehemiah 8. This is the spiritual Watergate. After years in exile for turning their backs to the Lord, the Israelites have returned to the Promised Land. Nehemiah has arrived and the walls have been rebuilt in an unbelievable 55 days. But it was not yet time to celebrate. While the physical walls were now in place, the spiritual walls of the city were still in a heap of rubble.
In the square before the Watergate, the governmental and religious leaders partnered together for a national event. A large and elevated platform was constructed to aid in seeing and hearing. At this event, there was no music, no theatrics, no gimmicks. The sole agenda item was God’s Word being read aloud and the meaning explained to the people. A great crowd assembled. People stood and listened from early morning to midday. That is anywhere from 4-6 hours the people were standing, listening intently. The first day was very successful, with a tremendous display of spiritual renewal and revival. They did the same thing the next day. The result? From this event of spiritual repentance, revival and renewal swept the nation.
In our current cultural climate, campaign speeches, presidential debates, elections, Congressional hearings, news conferences, summits, etc. are a dime a dozen (adjusted for inflation). What this nation really needs is Watergate #4 – like the one in Nehemiah’s day – a national repentance, revival and renewal grounded in the Bible, the Word of God.