Stand In The Gap?

Ezekiel 22:30

        Ezekiel catalogs the sins of the people of God in this chapter. The two main groups of people that are guilty of gross sins are the Prophets/Priests (Gods leaders) (vs. 25, 26, 28), and the princes (political leaders - v. 27). With these three powerful groups opposing God it is no wonder the rest of the people of the land had followed them into the ways of sin.

        The sin of the people had gotten so bad that God had begun to SEEK out a person who would intercede for the land, but He found none (v. 30). Because God found no one to stand in the gap, He must go on with His plan to punish the people (v. 31).

Our gap is the same today…

I.    God’s PLAN / PURSUIT— A Man (“I sought for A MAN..”). God’s plan has always been men! E.M. Bounds said, “Men look for better methods… God is looking for better MEN!”

        A.  God is looking down from heaven… He is looking all over the world… He is looking up and down the pews of this church… SEEKING a man / woman to stand in the gap!

1.   Isaiah 6:8 – Also I heard the voice of the     Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

              2. Queen Esther stood in the gap!  At the

   risk of her life, she stood between her people

   Haman’s plot to destroy them.

  3. Consider Abraham’s plea to God for 10

   righteous people in Sodom that it might be

   spared.

              4. When Israel murmured against Moses,

  God told Moses, “Get you up from among this

  congregation, that I may consume them as in

  a moment.”  Moses told Aaron to quickly go

  out with a censer and make atonement for the

  people because of God’s wrath. Aaron when

  out and the Bible says, “He stood between

  the dead and the living; and the plague was

  stayed.”

                    Let’s stand in the gap!

·      Between Good and Evil—Psa 94:16    Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

·       Between Idleness and action

·       Between the Living and the Dead

·       Between Instruction and Ignorance

·       Between Intercession and           Indifference

        B.  That is where God wants us today! He wants individuals...

1.   Individuals who will make themselves    available (Moses, Isaiah).

             2.   Individuals who will make a difference.

 

II.   God’s PLACE — A Gap (“…that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land…”).

        A “gap” is a break or breach. The word “gap” only occurs twice in the Bible—Both times in Ezekiel (13:5; 22:30).  Each time it has to do with a breach in a hedge or barrier.

A hedge (wall) was a protective thing in the Bible. We have fences around our yards to protect our children. It keeps them IN and away from harmful elements and keeps bad things out of our yards. If there is a gap, either our children can get out, or harm can get in.

        A.  “…before ME…” – As God’s representative.

        B.  “for THE LAND…” – To the world, our community, our homes, our schools, our neighborhood, our place of employment.

             1.   There are “gaps” that only you can fill. There are “gaps” that only I can fill.

             2.   God is looking for a Christian wife to stand in the gap for her unsaved husband.

             3.   God is looking for a Christian teenager to stand in gap at their school.

             4.   ILLUS: I praise God for a man named Gordie Raatz that I worked with at Dikar Tool Company who stood in the gap between me and hell.

             5.   Ron Coale is standing in the gap.

             6.   Lyle Trembly is standing in the gap.

 

III.  God’s PURPOSE — A Warning (“…that I should not destroy it…”).

        A.  When God was ready to destroy Israel at Mt. Sinai for their idolatry, Moses stood in the gap and interceded on their behalf and they were spared.

        B.  Broad is the way that leads to destruction (Mt. 7:13). The gap is large because the way is so broad.

        C. Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...

             1.   Knowledge of the Gospel.

             2.   Knowledge of God’s commission

 

IV.  God’s PAIN — A Tragedy (“…but I found NONE.”)

        A.  NONE convicted enough to take the challenge of building up God’s wall.

B.  NONE compassionate enough to care for             others in need of God.

C. NONE courageous enough to go against the flow of the crowd.

        D. NONE consecrated enough to surrender their talents, time, and treasures for God’s service.

 

Conc. We should stand in the gap because Jesus stood in the gap for us on Calvary’s cross!

·       There are ministries with GAPS because of lack of workers.

·       There are mission fields that need preachers.

·       There are schools, neighborhoods, and businesses that need witnesses.