One Voice

Ezekiel 22: 30            GW

I looked for someone among you who could build walls or stand in front of me by the gaps in the walls to defend the land and keep it from being destroyed. But I couldn’t find anyone.

More than once the nation of Israel worked themselves into a position of destruction. God’s desire was to save them. He sought someone who would stand for them, someone who would bear the burden of prayer for the nation. Sometimes He found someone, Moses for example. In today’s verse, we see God’s lament that He could find no one willing to “stand in the gap” for the nation. How important is one person? Reread the verse. For the want of just one faithful person, the entire nation suffered.

Who are you in the body of Christ? Do you feel like a nobody? Well, Israel sure could have used you all those years ago. If God could have found just one faithful person, He could have saved an entire nation.

What is the condition of your nation? Or your town, state or province, for that matter. You may be the only thing that is standing between your town and destruction. The prayers of a righteous person are effective and powerful (James 5: 16). They can save a city. You may not be the best orator in your town. You may even be bashful about praying in public. However, in the sanctity of your home, you can save the nation.

Never minimize the importance of just one person. Especially, do not devalue the power you have in your land. There is no one unimportant in the body of Christ. Turn off the TV and pray for an hour. Pray for you political leaders as well as other leaders, pray for your nation, you church, your pastor, your state and town. Pray for the teachers, police and fire fighters, and so on. There is no shortage of people and institutions you can pray for so don’t feel like you are only a little toe in the body of Christ. You may be the one God is counting on for prayer. That makes you important.

Looking For a Partner

Ezekiel 22: 30

And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

There is so much misunderstanding about our Father’s character and heart. This has never been more true. People still think that a life with God is about what you give up or more to the point, what He takes from you. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of who He is.

We are quite familiar with John 3: 16 but sometimes I wonder if we have every really heard it at all. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” God so loved us that He gave. His love for us causes Him to give, not take away. He is the God of good things and He longs to bless us not curse us. Human beings brought the curse into the world, not God. He created a place of good and of plenty.

In today’s selection we see God trying to find someone who would “stand in the gap” for the land. He didn’t want destruction to come onto the land, He wanted someone to intercede so that He could save it. But … He found no one. You see, humanity has sown seeds of destruction and those seeds are going to produce a crop unless God intervenes on our behalf. Unfortunately, when God gave us the authority over the earth that meant that the power and the responsibility fell to us. He gave His authority to us. He, therefore, no longer had the right to do anything He wished in the earth.

To this day He needs human actors to stand, pray and allow Him to work through them. He wants to save the land just as He did when Ezekiel wrote these words. He is a good God and wants to redeem the lands we live in. He wants to bestow blessings on our countries, towns and villages. He is looking for people who will partner with Him to remove the destruction and bring about healing and blessing. His plans for us are always plans for our good so let’s stand in those gaps and be the conduits of His love, grace and mercy.

Let it be Me

Ezekiel 22: 30

“And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”

Many times people ask, “Why did this bad thing happen” or “Why did God allow this bad thing to happen?” Now you have the answer. God didn’t allow it, we did. God saw the inevitability of seeds that were sown and looked around for someone to stand in the gap for that family, nation or person but when He looked He found no one. God would have intervened in the affairs of man many times but He couldn’t find anyone who would pray.

Psalm 115: 16 reads, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” You see God has given the earth to us. Recall that in Genesis 1: 28 God gave authority to rule the earth to mankind. While we know that God is sovereign we also should recognize that a sovereign has the right to give his authority to another. Once done, the sovereign must follow the rule of law that he has established. All of this is to say that god can no longer move freely in every context in the earth. He cannot make you accept Him as Lord because He gave you authority over your life and choices. We call that free will. This very principle bars God from intervening at times when He would like to. We have been given the authority in the earth so we must invite God to participate and we do so through our prayers. You can personally keep God out of your life or invite Him to participate with you. You really are the master.

In the same way, He cannot just step in any time He would like. Even when you see something like the tragedy of 9/11 you have to recognize that God wasn’t the one who was asleep at the wheel. He tells us in today’s verse that He looked around for a man to stand in the gap for the land but could find no one. Perhaps He tapped me on the shoulder that morning and asked me to pray for the land. Maybe He had been saying to many of us for months to pray for our nation but we were so full of our own lives that we never heard Him.  

There are two points I believe in this message. First, let us stop blaming God for our failures and secondly, we need to make our hearts and ears more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit so that God can speak to us and in speaking to us, commission us to pray. He wants to spread salvation but He must have someone who will pray. Let it be me.