And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.- Ezekiel 22:30 (KJV)
When explaining the coming destruction of Israel to Ezekiel, God told him that there was no one to stand for the people, no one to plead for the mercy of the Lord on behalf of the inhabitants of the land.
We see great courage at times- people who are willing to stand for our freedoms, our rights, against the abuses of government. Many defend our right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the freedom of assembly or due process- how many do we see that will stand for the Lord?
People who will stand for the weak and oppressed, who will stand against lies, immorality, and evil?
In ancient times, a wall was the best defense against enemies. If there was a breach, a gap, the enemies would rush in through that opening and take the city. Brave men (and women) would have to stand in the gap, to hold the enemy back until the breach could be repaired.
We are in a spiritual battle. There are many breaches in the wall. Immorality, jealousies, lies, corruption, greed, selfishness- wordliness of all sorts have breached the spiritual wall in our lives. The enemy is rushing in to take the city.
Will you stand in the gap?
It does not take everyone to fill the gap. It does not take a multitude. It only takes one.
Moses stood in the gap for his people. After all God had done for the children of Israel, they made a golden calf to worship. God decided that it was time to turn the page on this bunch, and start again:
Exodus 32- 9 And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
But Moses pleaded for his people and saved them:
11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
Psalm 106:23– Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
There are other stories of people who stood up for their people- Esther, against the evil designs of Haman, Abraham stood for Sodom-though it was in vain. Stephen prayed for those who were stoning him, and Jesus himself pled for those who hung Him on the cross.
When you are willing to stand in the gap, you may inspire others to do so as well. When they see your courage, your willingness to plead for them- they may decide to join you in the breach, to hold back the destruction that will otherwise surely come.
Or maybe they won’t. But if you will not, who will?
Luke 18:8- I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The entire chapter of Ezekiel 22 is a good, easy to understand chapter of the Bible. It eerily parallels the times we are in now:
Ezekiel 22: 1 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord God, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.5 Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.9 In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness.10 In thee have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution.11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour’s wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father’s daughter.12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God.13 Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.14 Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.15 And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.16 And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.17 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst therof.22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the Lord have poured out my fury upon you.23 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken.29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God. -King James Version
God is looking for people to stand in the gap, to save the land. Will you?