Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Are You Willing to Stand in the Gap?

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."
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 If you lived during the time of Ezekiel, chances are your town would have had a wall around it. It would be made of stone; too tall to climb without some help. There would be well-built and heavily-guarded gates at strategic places. There would also be towers at key points atop the wall where watchmen could stand guard, waiting to blow the horn or ring the alarm at the first sign of attackers. If you were moving from one town to the next, one of the main things you'd be asking before you moved would be, 'how thick is your wall?'.

For centuries the main and most effective means of defense was a wall. The higher, the thicker, the better. During that time families, tribes and nations were constantly attacking one another, whether it be for political, financial or religious reasons. So a city without a wall was defenseless, and so was one with a hole in it. Think about this.. the Great Wall of China, one of the greatest feats of human construction, the only man-made object that can be seen from outer space; was over 13,000 miles long when first built. Yet an enemy only needed a gap just a few feet wide to attack. And once the enemy makes it behind the wall, its hard to get him out.

God spoke to Israel through Ezekiel to let them know they had a hole in their wall; a gap the prophet called it. None of the stones were missing, and the gates around the city were functioning just fine. No, this was a spiritual gap he was talking about. See, Israel as a nation believed in God, the one true and living God. Their faith in the Lord was like a wall around them that protected them from spiritual foes. And that wall has stood around God's people ever since father Abraham said yes to God and laid the first stones of faith.  Yet, their wall had gaps in it. It had holes that came from chasing after false gods, disobeying the Lord's commands, treating the sacred things of God as common and unclean, and oppressing the poor and needy. And it was these gaps that made them vulnerable to spiritual attacks.

I would guess that probably most of the people reading this post if asked the question "do you believe in God?' would answer yes. And that's great.  It's good to have that wall of faith in our all-powerful, all-loving God around us, especially in these trying times in which we live. But I would also dare to guess that you likely have some gaps in your wall. Sure you probably go to church, maybe even on a regular basis; you probably read the Bible, hopefully everyday; and you have been known to pray from time to time. And you feel secure in that. You feel that where you are and what you are doing is enough. But what about your gaps? What about that habit? What about those thoughts? What about those things you do that you know are not right? Your gaps not only open you up to spiritual attacks, but they also expose your marriage, your children, your business, your church, and even your community to threats.



The bible says that God was looking for someone who was willing to stand in the gap for Israel. At the time, Ezekiel records that He found no one. Now he's looking for someone to stand in the gap for your spouse, for your children, for your family, for your community. Will He find someone? Are you willing to stand in the gap?

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