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Ezekiel 22:1-31

Tuesday, 07 March 2023

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land” -Ezekiel 22:30

Ezekiel was asked by the Lord to pronounce judgment on Jerusalem as the people of the land had turned away from God and His ways and ignored the warnings He gave through His prophets previously. Looking at Israel, God saw a land defiled by the blatant sins of its people. Every commandment that He had given them was broken. Moreover, there seemed to be no repentance. The injustice, corruption and sexual promiscuity of the people had so eroded the spiritual fabric of the nation that they had become like a city whose walls have broken down leaving it unprotected.

Judgement for sin and the mercy of God

The land was ripe for receiving its judgement from the Lord. Yet before He struck the land and its people the Lord had looked for people who would build that broken down wall and stand in the gap and pray, so that He need not pour His wrath on them. But He found none.

We live in a time very much like what has been described in Ezekiel 22. Godlessness and every wicked and detestable practice is celebrated and promoted as good and acceptable in our world today. The call to build the wall and to stand before him in the gap and pray is as relevant today as it was then.

How do we see idolatry?

Ezekiel 14: 3 speaks of people who set up idols in their hearts. An idol is anything we give more importance than God. It may not necessarily be physical objects of worship. Idols in the heart can be our obsessions over our jobs, family, comfort, our prestige, standing in society etc.- they soon take priority above God.

To further understand how God views our response to sinfulness let us briefly examine Ezekiel chapter 9 and 8.

In Ezekiel 9 we read about God calling forth men who were appointed to bring judgement on the city to kill those who were guilty of idolatry. Going before these men, who came with weapons to carry out the judgement of God, was a man with a writing kit who was asked to go into the city and “put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it” (Eze.9:4). Only those people with the mark were spared. All the others were killed. The men with the weapons were told “Begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.” (Eze 9:5, 6). Why did God say that judgment was to begin in the temple? Ezekiel 8 reveals the idolatry practiced even inside the temple!

We could be in the sanctuary of God carrying out our “religious duties” yet be filled with idolatry, our hearts far away from Him. Another idolatry can be self-centeredness when we become insensitive to the violence, injustice and sinfulness of the people around us.

The Call

The warning for us is this: the judgement of the Lord begins at his sanctuary! We are to examine ourselves to see if there is any idolatry within us. Repentance and giving God His rightful place in our lives is needed. The call is clear—we are expected, not only to live righteously, but feel deep sorrow for the sins of our city and nation.

We need to build the wall of God’s protection around our families, our churches, our cities and the nations where we live. How do we build this wall? It is through prayer that this wall will be built. God is looking for people who will stand in the gap. A broken wall has gaps.

God wants us to stand in that gap before Him. To stand before Him means to pray, repent and intercede.


Lord Jesus quicken our hearts today to respond to this call to repent and intercede. Give us a burden for people in sin and those perishing. Help us to be persistent in prayer for others and the nations.



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