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Standing in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30)

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Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”

Ezekiel 22 paints a bleak picture of the exiled Jews in Babylon, and because of their sins, God’s judgment was coming. In previous chapters, the historical apostasies of the nation of Israel were described. In chapter 22, we see the current sins being committed. This state of corruption has affected all classes of people in the kingdom, just like how a little leaven leavens the whole lump, all of Israel was corrupted with sin. God seeks for a man to stand in the gap and bring people to repentance from their deplorable sins. In other words, no matter who they were and what they did, they all turned from God and walked in their own ways. The following list describes the sins of the people and as I read through this list, consider if we are seeing the same deplorable situation in our world and our churches today?

The Prophets (Ezekiel 22:25): The conspiracy of the prophets in their midst, like a roaring lion ravening the prey, they devoured souls, and they have taken treasures and precious things and have made many widows.

The Priests (Ezekiel 22:26): They do violence to God’s law and profane the holy things. They teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean and shut their eyes to keep the Sabbath.

The Princes or rulers (Ezekiel 22:27): They are like wolves who tear apart their victims, shedding blood, and destroying lives to get dishonest gain.

The Prophets – again (Ezekiel 22:28): They whitewash the deeds of the princes by false visions and lying divisions. They say, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says” when the Lord has not spoken.

People of the land (Ezekiel 22:29): People of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. 

Because of all such sin, God looks for just one righteous person who would stand in the gap for the people, and He could find no one. God is always seeking out men to stand in the gap, and we see examples in scripture who had the courage and insight to stand in the gap. Abraham interceded for Sodom. God called Moses in the wilderness to stand in the gap and lead the people of Israel out. God called Isaiah to prophesy to His people, along with all the other prophets. God called Jonah to warn Nineveh, and God called the disciples to preach the Gospel of Grace to the Jews and Gentiles. 

Likewise, in today’s world, are we seeing the same sort of unrighteousness taking place? There is moral corruption increasing day by day; we have corrupted leaders, corrupted prophets, corrupted shepherds in the Church, false visions, false teachings, false prophets, and all sorts of deceptions in the Church and the world. Who is there to stand in the gap? 

We live in a time and season where there is only a small remnant of true “lovers” of God. Not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” is a follower of Christ (Matthew 7:21). The word of God is not honoured, and deceptive teachings teach all things man-centred and not God-centered. Are you willing to stand in the gap? Are you ready to stand up for the truth of the word of God, to lead people to find their desire and satisfaction in Christ alone?

Ezekiel 22:30 says that God found no one to stand in the gap, and therefore, God pours out His wrath on the people. Ezekiel 22:31 says, “Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord GOD.” 

In conclusion, the most extraordinary person who stood in the gap for the entire world is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen! Jesus came because, ultimately, the people were all under the full wrath of God and, by their own works, cannot fulfil the law or the prophets and cannot live the perfect life that is the requirement of a righteous God. Jesus did, and He did it for us by standing in the gap. As He hung on the cross, He prayed, saying in Luke 23:34, “And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Not only that, but He continues to intercede for us before God Almighty. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”

There is a great judgment coming on those who continue in their sins even after being warned of their ways. Humble yourself before Christ, repent of your sins, and love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Finally, love His people, stand in the gap, and proclaim the truth of His word, declaring the gospel of God and shining His light amongst the nations.

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