Ezekiel 22:30 – “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”
The prophet Ezekiel ministered during a very difficult time in Israel’s history. Judah, the southern kingdom, had so corrupted themselves, that God judged the nation by an invasion of the Babylonians. The Babylonians conducted three major deportations of the Jews to Babylon, one in 606 BC, one in 597 BC and the last in 586 BC. The prophet Ezekiel was exiled during the second deportation. While in Babylon, God gave Ezekiel a message for the Jews who had been exiled to Babylon. This message was God’s reasoning for His judgment. In Ezekiel 22, God called out the corruption in the political sphere, the spiritual sphere and amongst the people in general. In the midst of this declaration, God states that “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap.” What God was looking for was a person who would intercede on behalf of the people and give Him a reason not to destroy the land, but sadly, He could find none, thus His wrath was poured out for the gruesome sins committed in Judah.
God gives us a very unique privilege as His children, that privilege is the ability to speak to Him through prayer. As one studies scripture, prayer is a significant part of God’s orchestration in human affairs. In fact, its the prayers of God’s people that sometimes pushes off God’s judgement. Sometimes we don’t realize that God’s call to prayer may be the very thing giving our loved ones another opportunity to respond to the Gospel. Its our prayers for each other that may prevent somebody from falling out of the Christian race. Its our prayers that may be preventing the break up of a family. Its our prayers that God even uses to open closed countries for the Gospel’s sake. Our prayers are not meant to be a ritual we perform every day, but a means in which God intervenes in the lives of people so that sin does not destroy them both now and forever. Do we see our prayers as that significant? We can’t always see all that goes on in the spiritual realm, but God tells us plainly in James 5:16, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” May we recognize today the need to stand in the gap for our loved ones, community, country, & people groups around the world. We may serve as that stop gate of God’s wrath and a bridge of His mercy through our prayers. Keep praying!