One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Sunday, November 10, 2013: Ezekiel 21:1-22:31
29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:29-30 (NKJV)
Israel had experienced a colossal leadership melt-down. Four levels of leadership had failed:
1. Scribes (22:25)
2. Priests (22:26)
3. Princes (22:27)
4. Prophets (22:28)
As a result the people were in terrible shape. They were oppressed, mistreated, and impoverished. In response to this dire condition, God called for a man of God to step up -- "to make a wall and stand in the gap."
This call might be interpreted a couple of ways. I have always seen it in the light of PRAYER. "Standing in the gap" meant being a prayer warrior. Part of the reason for this is the phraseology. Ezekiel 22:30 says, "stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land." This means God wants us to stand before Him interceding in behalf of those who are in distress.
A good example of this is Genesis 18 where Abraham interceded for Sodom. By prayer, Abraham forestalled God's impending judgment upon that wicked town. He stood pleading in prayer for mercy and patience.
But there is a second way this might be interpreted. If Israel suffered by a failure of leadership, "making a wall and standing in the gap" might mean filling the leadership vacuum. This includes prayer, but goes much further.
Here are a few observations about "gaps":
1. The "gap" is the space between where we are and where God wants us to be.
2. A "gap" is a hole in the wall through which the enemy can attack.
3. "Gaps" never heal themselves. Unless fixed, they only get worse.
In God there are no "gaps". But in a fallen world, "gaps" are everywhere. When God sees a "gap", He sends a man or woman of God to fill it up. When Satan sees a "gap", he exploits it. He attacks. He uses it to work his evil plans.
In the days of Ezekiel, there was no one to stand in the gap. This is more than prayer. It is filling up the need of the hour. It is shoring up the points of vulnerability. It is rising to responsibility. It is being a man or woman of God in the midst of a dying and distressed world.
The call comes to you and me today. Will you answer? Will you step up? By the power of God's Spirit, you can do this. Say "Yes" to His call today.