By Tim King
I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one' (Ezek. 22:30, NASB).
What a remarkable passage we have here from the lips of the Lord! According to the text, the great sovereign King of the universe would have halted His judgment upon His people, except that He found one thing lacking--a man among the rebellious who would build up the walls and stand in the gap before Him. One such man would have stayed the destruction of the nation, but alas, there was none to be found.
The picture God used to depict the spiritual deterioration of His people was that of a city wall (the main means of defense and security for cities at that time) falling into such disrepair that great breaches had developed. In these places the people were then vulnerable to the encroachment of the enemy.
To make matters worse, at this time it was not the Chaldeans or the Amorites or the Edomites or the Philistines who had set their destructive forces against Israel, but it was God Himself. This had occurred because of the Israelites' pride and rebellion against God. 'They rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them' (Isa. 63:10, NASB).
The same thing had happened earlier in Israel's history during the time they wandered in the wilderness. In fact, God killed more of His people because of their grumbling than the inhabitants of the land ever did. However, all of them would have been slain were it not for the earnest intercession of Moses on their behalf (Num. 14:11-12).
Few of us would argue that the evangelical church in North America has been characterized by pride and rebellion. Like the people of Israel in Old Testament history, we too are facing the reality of God's opposition because of our arrogance and disobedience (James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5). Yet, in all of this, where is the man who will stand in the gap in our generation?
It is certainly sobering to consider that the judgment of God may fall, not for lack of patience on His part, but for lack of prayer on ours. Brethren, build the walls by faithful preaching of the Word of God! Defend the church by standing in the breaches with holy pleadings on your lips for mercy and revival!