So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
The Marines have a slogan, “We’re just looking for a few good men.” So is God. What a difference a few good men could make in the church and the church’s impact in the world. Ezekiel underscores this in our text. Here he pictures a city under siege and the enemy has broken through the wall. There is a deadly breach in the defenses. The only hope was for a stalwart soldier to stand in the gap. It is an accurate picture of what is happening in our time. The enemy is pouring through the spiritual defenses—our families, our churches, our culture being overwhelmed in the assault of Satan and his minions. The need is for an elite group of men—sold out to Christ—who will not waver. Ezekiel was that kind of man. Those prophets of old afford an inspiring model for us. James exhorted, “Take...the prophets…for an example.”
The prophet’s example challenges us to be men of DESTINY. Ezekiel—author of this book, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and the rest bore the title, “prophet.” We usually think of this as someone foretelling the future. Though this element was often present, their office was primarily forth-telling the truth. A careful examination of their ministry shows they did not speak only of future events, but confronted their contemporaries. The prophet had a word for the present hour. The Hebrew word for prophet is literally, “one who has been called.” They had a mandate from heaven. It was a divine compulsion. Jeremiah described it as a fire in his bones. This awareness of God’s call imparts a sense of destiny. Dear reader, God has you here in this time and place for a reason—not an accident, but appointment. The prophet had something to say. Society today has lost its moral compass—our families are floundering at sea without an anchor, and churches drifting doctrinally without a steady hand on the helm of Scripture. Men, we must take up the sword of the Spirit and stand in the gap!
The prophet’s example challenges us to be men of DEVOTION. They were often referred to as “the man of God.” This described the man’s devotion to the Lord. He was possessed by the God who held him and obsessed with the God who loved him. The prophet was God’s man. This suggests an abiding fellowship. Brothers, do you shut yourself up with God to hear from Him in His Word and commune with Him in prayer on a consistent basis? Because the prophet was the man of God, he could not be bought. His convictions were not for sale. The world believes every man has his price—but, not God’s man.
The prophet’s example challenges us to be men of DISCERNMENT. Another term for the prophet was, “seer.” He could see beyond the natural realm and gained God’s perspective. He could see the invisible with eyes of faith—to discern the spiritual realities behind the surface events. We need to be men of vision who see before others see, see more than others see, and see beyond what others see. He had a word for his times because he had a view of eternity.
Will you be a man who stands in the gap? God is looking for a few good men!