“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,” (22:30).
As God recounts the despicable behavior of His people who had been called by Him to be holy, it’s really nothing we haven’t heard before. But even in His disgust we hear His mercy as He searched for one who could rescue His people from the slippery slope that was leading them straight into the fire of His fury. But there would be none found.
Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord God, (22:32).
This portrayal of their beloved Jerusalem is filled with obscenities, vulgarities, lewdness, violence, and impurities that profane everything about Holy God. And though He searched, there is no man fit to build up the wall. No man is able to stand in the gap before Him. Not even Jeremiah, who still lived in Jerusalem, was up to the task.
Walls represented the salvation found in God’s protection, security and shelter against the enemy.
“Violence will not be heard again in your land,
Nor devastation or destruction within your borders;
But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise,” (Isaiah 60:18).
God had called His people to Build Up the Wall of Salvation with His Truth, but instead they chose to build on the lies of their false prophets. And their foundation would be fractured and soon they would find themselves defenseless, overcome by the breaches their Whitewashed Walls had allowed.
“‘Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. 4 O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 They see falsehood and lying divination who are saying, ‘The Lord declares,’ when the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope for the fulfillment of their word. 7 Did you not see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you said, ‘The Lord declares,’ but it is not I who have spoken?”’” (Ezekiel 13:3-7).
And God had called His people to Stand in the Gap and intercede so as to stay the hand of the enemy as they depended on Him in the same way Moses had done in the wilderness.
They made a calf in Horeb
And worshiped a molten image.
20 Thus they exchanged their glory
For the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God their Savior,
Who had done great things in Egypt,
22 Wonders in the land of Ham
And awesome things by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them,
Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him,
To turn away His wrath from destroying them, (Psalm 106:19-23).
“In the ancient world of the Bible, cities had walls surrounding them to provide protection from enemies. When the wall was breached, the city was vulnerable to destruction; the only way to secure it was for people to risk their lives by literally standing in the gap in the wall and fighting the enemy.”
The people had made God their enemy with no hope of deliverance against His holy power and might. But One would come Who would not only risk His life, but would Stand in the Gap to give His life that whoever would believe would be saved from destruction. Only One.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:16-17).
As the people heard God speak of His search, would they remember the prophecy of Isiah more than a century earlier?
Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands far away;
For truth has stumbled in the street,
And uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yes, truth is lacking;
And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Now the Lord saw,
And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
16 And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle, (Isaiah 59:14-17).
And because there was none to intercede, none to bring salvation, the Lord Himself would clothe Himself in flesh and come at the proper time as the only mediator between God and man, the Only One Who is Able to Build Up the Wall and Stand in the Gap.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time, (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Consider Him Who Is Able to Build Up the Wall and Stand in the Gap
Only Jesus Is Able to Build Up the Wall.
- He Is Able to Build Up the Wall for He Is the Truth, the Life, and the Only Way to the Father.
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6:).
- He Is Able to Build Up the Wall and to bring us forth by His Word of Truth.
- In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures, (James 1:18).
- He Is Able to Build Up the Wall for He is True and gives us understanding that we may know eternal life.
- And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life, (1 John 5:20).
Only Jesus Is Able to Stand in the Gap.
- He Is Able to Stand in the Gap as He became sin on our behalf that we would be reconciled to God.
- Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation… 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:18-19, 21).
- He Is Able to Stand in the Gap as our Eternal High Priest, Who saves and lives to intercede forever.
- The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them, (Hebrews 7:23-25).
- He Is Able to Stand in the Gap for He Alone is Holy, innocent, undefiled and separated from sinners.
- For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever, (Hebrews 7:26-28).
How do we respond to Him Who Is Able to Build Up the Wall and Stand in the Gap?
We must begin by agreeing with Him. Sin has caused a great Gap between God and man. But as we call on Jesus Who Is Able to Build Up the Wall and Stand in the Gap, we can rest in what He alone Is Able to do; for no one is outside the reach of His salvation.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.
2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear, (Isaiah 59:1-2).
And when we place our faith in Jesus and are created new in Him, He calls us to continue to trust Him to Build Up the Wall and Stand in the Gap in our inner man. For we are in a battle with a real enemy, and we are always in need of what only He Is Able to do.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm, (Ephesians 6:12-13).
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal, (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Oh how we need the Truth of His Word to keep our eyes fixed on the eternal. Let us not neglect our time in His Word as we depend on His Holy Spirit to Build us in His Truth, that we would be set apart to live in the power of His salvation.
The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting, (Psalm 119:160).
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you,” (John 16:13-15).
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth,” (John 17:17).
And when the battle rages, and seems like our defenses are failing, let us stand on the Truth of His Word as we call on Him Who is Able to Stand in the Gap, confident that He will be our refuge as He intercedes for us in our time of need.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth, (Psalm 145:18).
Every word of God is tested;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him, (Proverbs 30:5).
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need, (Hebrews 4:14-16).