One of the more famous passages of Ezekiel is chapter 22, verse 30. In this section of scripture, Ezekiel is giving us some of God’s reasons for sending Judah into captivity under the Babylonians. The reason given in verse 30 is that God could not find a man to stand in the gap. We need to reason about this verse correctly to find the proper application for our own lives.
Ezekiel is not saying that there were not men who were faithful to God and standing up for God. After all, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah were faithful and brave men of God who were carried away to Babylon. They were certainly willing to stand for God. Faithful Jeremiah and faithful Ezekiel were carried into captivity. They, too, stood for God.
For what man, then, was God looking? He was looking for the right man, the man who was not only faithful, but in a position to do something about directing the affairs of the nation back to Him. He was looking for another Josiah, a Hezekiah. He was looking for men with the heart, the bravery and “the clout” to stand in the gap.
There are some circumstances wherein you and I have insufficient influence. We can take a stand, but not bring about the needed change. Take a stand anyway. We can hold the line while others step over and start down the slippery slope to hell. Hold the line anyway. When no one else is following God, we can.
But, especially think of the places where we can stand in the gap. There are places where you have clout. Joshua said, “… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Noah could not turn the wicked world in which he lived back to God, even as a preacher of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:5). But Noah could be “a just man and perfect in his generations… (Gen. 6:9)” Paul could not convince the nation of Jews at Jerusalem to leave Judaism (Acts 22:22). But he could turn Peter back to right thinking (Gal. 2:11-14).
Likewise, you can “stand in the gap” in some places.
- Mothers, you can exemplify and train you daughters to be graceful, feminine, modest and spiritually minded ladies ready to encourage and take their place beside a Christian husband. If no other woman in the church does that, you can.
- Preachers, maybe you won’t turn a brotherhood back from worldliness, apathy or ungodliness, but you have a chance to stand in the gap for a congregation or maybe simply for the souls who will listen.
- Fathers, most of the family leaders in this world have either abdicated their position or signed up for Satan’s army. But you can lead you family in the army of the Lord with zeal, prayerfulness, knowledge and wisdom.
- Elders, you might be the one that can turn you congregation around in their evangelistic zeal and their spiritual mindedness.
Brothers and sisters, stand in the gap where you are. Stand everywhere for God, but, especially, stand where you can plug the gap. “Everyone must do his own work.”