“I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.”
Two verses seemed to call out to be written on this morning, but this verse pulled more strongly. The other verse is verse 14, Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I will deal with you? I, the LORD, have spoken and will act. This morning’s thoughts will be on verse 30.
In context, God is preparing to pour out His wrath on Jerusalem. The walls will be broken down and Nebuchadnezzar will conquer the nation and carry folks away into captivity. Well, more folks. Things are just going from bad to worse. And God adds in this gem of observation: There was no one in the group about to be disciplined/judged who was ready, willing, and able to stand in the gap.
To stand in the gap is a concept with which most are familiar. The idea is one of standing between two disputing parties who cannot come to an agreement and bridging the divide; the gap between them. I have heard that London’s underground rail system warns people to “mind the gap” as a warning about the space between the platform and the rail cars. The gap is not a safe place to be. Whether it be the space between rail car and platform or the space between opposing sides, the gap is uncomfortable and dangerous and takes a certain strength of character to venture into when it is at its most dangerous.
As the world in which I live moves further from God, the gap grows. The gap does not only grow in size, but in danger. For, as the divide widens, the sides post guards on their borders. A modern example of this is North and South Korea and the DMZ between them. There are guards that patrol those borders and being in that space is dangerous. So, too, it is dangerous to stand between God and the world.
The gap exists in life.
The gap between God and humanity is there. The Bible states that there is one Mediator between God and humanity, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5); One Man standing in the gap. The Bible also states that believers are the body of Christ (Romans 12:5). Since Jesus stands in the increasingly-dangerous gap, so, too, do I. Whether I want to or not, if I am in Christ, I am standing in the gap. I had better be on about the work for which I am placed there.
Let me pray to God on behalf of those about whom I care, especially those who have no relationship of their own with Him. Let me stand in that gap. Let me pray for the nation that has protected me and provided me with the freedom to worship my God without fear. Though my nation spurns God, yet let me stand in that gap. Though people would shun Him or deny His existence altogether, let me stand in the gap facing the other direction, too, and remind people that God loves them and wants better for them than they want for themselves.