Following the life-giving regenerative power of the Fountain Gate, we come to the Water Gate. The Old Testament often symbolised water so as to sybolise the Holy Spirit. This is the singular fact that enables a believer to live a holy life under God’s saving grace. For without the Holy Spirit, we have nothing within ourselves to save us, and we become nothing but clanging symbols and empty wind (1 Cor. 13).
The Water Gate led down to the Gihon Spring opposite the Kidron Valley. In the spiritual life it speaks to the continual renewal in a believers life. Titus 3:5, “…he saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
It is also related to the Word of God. Word and Spirit must always go together, lest the believer spin off into the dry letter on the one hand, or the ecstatic excesses of the charismatic that are often devoid of the Word, on the other. Ephesians 5:25-26 says, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…” It is the water that cleanses, and the Word of God that purifies (Psalm 119:9) the believer in this life in obedience to Christ.
Finally, in Nehemiah 8, after the wall is finished, Ezra, the great post-exilic scribe and scholar, the Father of what became known as the Pharisees, gathered all the people together, in order to instruct them in the Law of Moses, reading “from early morning to midday…and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.” He is the man who, after the return from Babylon, was responsible to re-educate the bewildered people into the covenant-keeping people. And the location Ezra chose to do this was at The Water Gate.
Why? Because the only way God chooses to revitalise or revive His people may be expressed in a million ways, but it is always accomplished by the same means: Word and Spirit.