Standing in the Gap

Introduction: Did you know that Ezekiel was both a prophet and a priest? He lived and prophesied during a time when his nation was in captivity in Babylon. The year was 605 B.C.- 586 B.C. But his message was twofold. First, he proclaimed God’s judgment was inevitable against Babylon. Secondly, his message of hope and restoration was for Israel. Actually, while he was preaching, Israel was being chastised because of her disobedience. Much like in our day, it was during a national crisis that Ezekiel thundered forth God’s call for intercessors and mediators. However, it became abundantly clear that there was a major need for finding those who would “stand in the gap.” Ezekiel pleaded with Israel:

“30And 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)

Do you know why? Here are at least 3 reasons for God’s call through Ezekiel.

1. Idolatry (Ezek 22:4)

“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.”

In the book of Revelation chapter 21, John foretold the reasons people would be sent to the lake of fire.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev 21:8)

Obviously, this is bad news. But the good news is God provided a Sacrifice for our sins in Jesus Christ. He left heaven to live a life without sin and thus be able to lay down His life in order to pay for our sins (Rom 6:23).

2. Immorality (Ezek 22:7-12)

“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 jfatherless and the widow. 8Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. 9In 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. 10In thee have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution. 11And 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. 12In 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.”

This sounds like a modern day description doesn’t it? Wickedness and evil seem to be triumphant these days. But a thorough study of Bible prophecy reveals the unholy trinity (Satan, Antichrist, and false prophet) will all be thrown into the lake of fire to be tormented. According to the book of Revelation, this will happen when Jesus Christ comes again.
And Satan’s final doom will take place at the end of Jesus Christ’s millennium reign. “Even so come.”

3. Ungodliness (Ezek 20:25-29)

“25There 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. 26Her 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. 27Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. 28And 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. 29The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and
needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.”

Outside of the GRACE of God and the RIGHTEOUSNESS of Jesus Christ we are all filthy and hopelessly lost. But Praise the Lord for His precious blood and resurrection power to forgive hell bound sinners! Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe!!
Conclusion: Our God is longsuffering (patient), and yet He is both righteous and just. While He is a God of mercy, He is also a God of judgment. That is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take away our sins through His redeeming blood.
Simply put:
God the Father thought it!
God the Son brought it!
God the Holy Ghost wrought it!
The devil fought it!
But praise the Lord I caught it!
Go “Stand in the gap” and tell sinners judgment is coming, but there is hope in Jesus!
Love y’all,
Dr. Randy Reese