While he was facing the square in front of the Water Gate, he read out of it from daybreak until noon before the men, the women, and those who could understand. All the people listened attentively to the book of the law. – Nehemiah 8:31
I don’t believe it is possible to have a spiritual awakening apart from an accompanying re-commitment to God’s Word (the Bible). When we read the story of Nehemiah, we may focus on the wall reconstruction (a great accomplishment), but unintentionally gloss over the importance of the spiritual renewal that followed that laborious task.
With great wisdom, Nehemiah realized that even if the new citizens of Jerusalem rebuilt the outer wall, they would also need to rededicate themselves to God’s truth if they truly intended to survive. With this in mind, he brought in Ezra (a respected teacher and spiritual leader) to lead the people back to this necessary foundation.
Woe to the nation that creates great physical defenses, yet forgets to address the moral character of its people. Though it may be protected from the enemy outside, the enemy within will ultimately win the day … and said nation will ultimately perish.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan. – Martin Luther King, Jr.