"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so that I would not destroy it....." (Ezekiel 22:30)
The image and the objective of this scripture is pretty clear. The Lord outlines the iniquity of the land in the preceding verses and at the end laments that there is none to stand before Him and take up the part of those that are in eminent peril. The idea is demonstrated also in Genesis when Abraham entertains the angel of the Lord and is made aware of the Lord's plans and intention for Sodom and Gomorra. The plans were severe and there was only judgment contained in them... unless someone would stay before the Lord and plead the cause of those unsuspecting souls. The divine mission was laid out before Abraham and there was no need to ask for clarification or explanation. Then two of the visitors turned and began to make their way to that plain of sin and confusion, but "Abraham stood yet before the Lord." (Genesis 18:22).
We know this story well, how that Abraham pleaded with God for the souls of that city, and how the hand of the Lord was turned from only destruction to Mercy in the midst of destruction. The Lord was no doubt pleased to be petitioned and His plan could be changed because it is not God's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). His will is for all to come to the saving knowledge of His love and grace and to be rescued from a sure destruction. Did Abraham end his petition too soon? Perhaps but the lesson was given, that Almighty God is willing to be stopped in the middle of executing His plans to hear the petition of a child of his on behalf of souls. The power of this story should not be understated.
Now we live in a land that indulges in living that would make Sodomites blush. Nothing is taboo except righteousness and virtue. Those hindering and judgmental attributes that hinder the enjoyment and free life styles of the enlightened. The truth is that there is a cry going up from this land and from this city, and that cry is very great and our sin is very grievous (Genesis 18:20-21) and as it was in the days of Lot they were eating and drinking building and planting (Luke 17:28). The average activities of living are blended with the hideous and the abominable so that the poison of sin is administered in small but increasingly deadly doses. Like Lot and the residents of that Sodom, judgment looms on the horizon. Destruction walks a steady and measured pace to where we are. It is coming. It must, but there is little pleasure in the death of the wicked. The Lord declares His remorse in this event. (Ezekiel 18:32) says, " I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye" and again in (Ezekiel 33:11), " As I live saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked: but that the wicked turn from his wickedness and live..."
No pleasure in the execution of a righteous judgment on the souls of men. In stead and in hope the Lord searches for a man to stand before Him. To stand and admit that there is sin in this land, sin beyond measure. Sin heaped upon sin. We are a nation defiled and unclean, we wallow in our own filth and vomit and call to all those that would hear us, to come and partake in this shame. I know that the church is able to be covered from this dark covering, and we are. Yet the land that we live in is in need and who will call out the names of the lost and petition the Lord on this dusty road that leads to judgment.
Ezekiel chapter 9 tells another story of impending destruction. A number of mighty angels are instructed to go through a city with 'slaughter weapons', but before they passed through the land there was one who was to first go and pass through the city and put a mark on the forehead of all those that sighed and cried out for the abominations of the land. The darkness of sin had caused an unrest in the righteous so that they cried out and sighed for the poverty and shame that was upon their land. We are set apart by our concern for the lost and their souls. I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it. The Lord is looking for Men of Integrity that will stand before Him in the gap and plead and petition Him for the land. The breadth and scope of this land is vast, but if we look around us at our world, we will in fact change the world. Our world is made up of individual people, not faceless masses.
A man was watching a football game on TV and his young son was seeking his fathers attention. The man looked for something to occupy his son so that he could enjoy the game. He saw a picture in the newspaper of an airline ad that had a full page picture of the globe. The an tore the picture into little pieces and gave them and some tape to his son to put back together as a puzzle. The little boy went off to work on this task and the father turned his attention to the game. Some minutes later the boy returned with the picture restored in remarkably good fashion. The man congratulated the little boy and asked how he was able to restore the picture so well. The little boy replied that it was easy. There was a picture of a man on the other side of the of the ad and he put the man back together, and when the man was back together the world came back together. The GAP may be place a persons life that once was whole but now has been broken down. It might be that the construction of the wall is just incomplete and someone needs to stand in that gap till it can be closed and fortified. The gap is just that, a place where the whole has been disrupted or is not yet complete.
I don't need to say much more. That is the purpose of this theme, and it is more than a theme. It may be, if we would listen to hear the Lord's voice, that we are hearing the inquiring call for someone to stand in the gap on behalf of the land. What is the gap in this land? We must know what and where the gap is if we are to stand effectively there. Who do we stand before the Lord for? Is it family, friend, stranger, government, ministry? Is it for ourselves and the desperate needs of our own lives. I think it is all these things and probably more. The Lord is seeking for a Man to Stand In The Gap.
Ask and answer these questions:
Make a list of people that may need a Gap filled. Now make a list of things that you can do to fill that gap ( prayer is important, but remember to put legs on your faith and your compassion ).
Brother Jim Olson
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