Ezekiel 23: 30

And I searched for a man among them who would 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.

Perhaps you have heard this verse before. It is usually taught as a lament that God could find no one to pray for the land. There were no faithful people anywhere; no one who was willing to dedicate themselves to prayer. There is another aspect to this verse worth considering for there is another player involved, i.e. Yahweh Himself.

What was going on in God’s heart here? Take a moment and consider. Did God wish to destroy the land? Answer: no. He explicitly did not, which is why He went in search of a man to pray. There is consequence to sin. Sin destroys. However, God’s intent is never for destruction. His desire is to build, to create.

Compassion was ruling in God’s heart. The people of the land had nurtured a destructive pattern. They had sown the seeds of their own destruction, yet God was searching for a way to save them from themselves. His remedy was to seek out someone who would agree with Him in prayer for the salvation of the land. He wanted to intervene so as to interrupt the natural consequences of the people’s actions. Their seed was about to produce a crop so God hastened to arrest the process before that crop could manifest. However, to His chagrin, He could find no one willing to stand for the land and pray.

What I am attempting to point out is that God’s heart was operating in compassion rather than destruction. Some people read this verse and see a destructive, angry God. They could not be more wrong. Their hearts are tainted. The situation is that God was trying to prevent the destruction that was on its way. He is a loving, caring God who intercedes in our lives to prevent unwanted consequences. He encounters an issue to this day as He did at the writing of this verse. He can’t find anyone who will pray. We’re so obsessed with the bad things in life that we fail to listen to the voice which is attempting to lead us from the path of destruction or is importuning us to pray for someone else.

Let’s not be the people of this verse. Let’s see if we can learn from it. Let us turn our hearts and ears to the benevolent God of the Bible and follow where He leads. He is leading us beside still waters where we can commune with Him and receive His instruction. Expect God to be good because He always is, and He is looking for some partners who will help Him usher His goodness into the environment.