Monday, May 25, 2020

Who Can Stand in the Gap

“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

At first glance, only reading one verse with this being Memorial Day weekend, you would think this is about a soldier, a protector, someone who will stand in the gap that none should pass to harm our land. But this is actually talking about finding a leader, someone who will protect the people, the public morals and the values of God, thereby allowing God to bless the land. It is a different kind of warrior to hold the line in a different kind of war, just as important, if not more so.

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This Nation prospered under our first elected President, George Washington. Perhaps one of the more interesting things about George was his humble spirit, as he said of his role in leadership, “I have only been an instrument in the hands of Providence.” (March 30th, 1875) Not a ‘me so great’ bloviation but ‘God is great and I was blessed to be used by Him’ vantage. (Though in our Nation today, would the humbler spirit be recognized by most? Or would it be overlooked?)

We all realize that America is not what it used to be. It once stood out in the world as what other nations wanted to be and now it is just a nation that other nations want to sell goods to. The walls of our fortress have been breached. The once strong belief in our nation has been replaced with the attitude of apathy.

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But according to John Adams, our nation had a firm foundation. “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were … the general principles of Christianity.” (He wrote that to Thomas Jefferson back on June 28th, 1813.) Adams should know, he was there at the founding. Yes, there were imperfections as you would find with anything man has a part of.

This logic was interlaced into our nation for the next 100 years, but as it aged the threads began to tatter. John Quincy Adams, gave an oration on July 04th, 1837 (61 years after the Declaration was signed) in which he said, “ Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day (July 04th)? Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of our Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?” 

John Jay | Oyez
John Jay, first Supreme Court Justice

Another early American leader, John Jay, the Secretary of State for George Washington and the original Supreme Court Justice, believed that Christian principles should be included in civil arenas. “Providence [a term many of the Founders used for God] has given to our people the choice of their rulers; and it is the duty – as well as the privilege and interest – of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” (October 12th, 1816)

I have cited several early leaders in America, from different walks of life. Military, political, legal and I would point out they all to some degree were willing to stand in the gap, to defend this nation, its founding principles and morals, to try to keep it headed in the right direction, a Godly direction, from whence it came and to which it should keep progressing.

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But I would like to suggest to you, that while the passage in Ezekiel was talking about prophets, priest and princes (political leaders); the true search is for leaders in every field. Fathers and mothers to begin with, for from these are raised children of strength, honor, morality, and integrity and those children will be the new leaders in the world.

There are leaders in every field, it matters not which. Leaders stand out and they become the best of the best, people others look up to for one reason or another. They set the example for others through how they live and conduct their lives. In many ways they stand in the gap, not because of some massive display, but often through their steadfast love of God that permeates their life.

Another of the Old Testament prophets said, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

It is a fairly simple requirement. I suggest to you that those three things are the making of a good servant of God, a good example to man and in many ways are the attributes of a good leader.

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Perhaps the important part is; if someone begins looking for a leader today, will they find us or will we be found lacking. Are we the ones that will build a wall and stand in the gap to protect our land from the more liberal values of the world? Today America is still considered as a Christian nation, by some, will it still be considered that in another fifty years?

May God stand between you and harm in all the empty places you must walk.


 Ezekiel 22:23 - 31 (Israel’s Wicked Leaders) 23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 30 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. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.


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