In the final years of the southern kingdom of Israel, God warned that He was going to use the king of Babylon to discipline the people unless they returned to Him with a heart of worship. But the people failed to repent and the invasion of Jerusalem began.
Ezekiel was a prophet to those taken captive during the Babylonian attacks. Through Ezekiel, God explained why He was allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed. He said the people had rebelled and drifted far, but His anger seemed mostly directed at the leaders who failed to point the way: “They do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 22:26). In addition, God said the prophets were covering up the sins of the priests; “They whitewash their deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations” (Ezekiel 22:28).
God searched, but found no one who was willing to lead the people into a life of pure and holy worship – a life which recognized God as Lord of ALL and prayed without ceasing for His guidance and protection.
“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 I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger.”
As in the days of Ezekiel, spiritual walls are crumbling all around us. We have whitewashed sin in the name of tolerance, and we have lost our passion for holiness and worship in the busyness of materialism and worldly advancement. And tragically, many of our churches are filled with compromise and fail to point the way to truth. The result is many lives filled with spiritual gaps – areas vulnerable to grave attack by the enemy.
We must repair our own walls through repentance, forgiveness, and daily drawing nearer to the presence of God. But we must also look for “gaps” in the walls of those around us and commit to standing firm with prayer, encouragement, and time, until strength returns and walls are repaired. We must be ones who live without compromise and faithfully point the way to true worship and a life which glorifies God in all we do.
Let’s continue to stand in the gap for as long as it takes the relationship of a friend to be restored, the strength of a pastor to be renewed, the heart of a loved one to be transformed, or the life of a prodigal child to return home. God’s words through Ezekiel are harsh, but God didn’t give up on the people until the people gave up on each other. It’s not too late if we continue to point the way; there is still hope if we will stand firm in the gap.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Aug 12 Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7