November 10: “Standing in the Gap”

9 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezekiel 21:1–22:31
Hebrews 10:1-17
Psalm 108:1-13
Proverbs 27:12

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT): “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Today’s Bible reading in Ezekiel was certainly not one that would warm our hearts. It didn’t have any verses that would get a lot of “likes” on Facebook.

Instead, it was filled with verses that expressed God’s frustration and anger with His people. They had rebelled against Him for so long that His patience had run out. He was warning them through His prophet that judgment was coming.

However, if we read those verses and come away thinking that God is simply an angry, vindictive God, then we missed the point entirely. God was merely warning His people of what their persistent sinful actions demanded. If they continued in sin, then God’s judgment would come. He who is holy must punish sin.

But, repentance would have changed things completely. The people God was speaking to should have heard the divine warnings, recognized how far they had strayed from their God, confessed their sins with broken hearts, and called out for God’s grace and mercy. Then, I’m convinced that God’s judgment could have been avoided … or at least postponed.

Ezekiel 22:30 tells us that God was actively looking for someone to call His people back to Himself. He was looking for someone, anyone, who loved Him and would cry out for God’s people to come back from their destructive, sinful ways that demanded judgment.

But, the last line of the verse leaves our mouth gaping with surprise. It shocks us.

Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT): “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

Friend, if you have a wayward spouse or child, then you are the one who should stand in the gap between God and your family member. Humbly and compassionately call them back, but you should also wear your knees out as you call out to God on their behalf.

If you have a wayward friend, then you are the one who should stand in the gap. Plead with them and with God.

If you are part of a wayward church, then you are the one who should stand in the gap.

If you are in a wayward community (we aren’t in Heaven yet, so your community is wayward), then you are the one who should stand in the gap.

Friend, you have a purpose! You can be the one standing in the gap between God and those who have gone astray. So plead with them to come into a right relationship with God. And cry out to God that He would melt hearts and draw people to Himself.

Stand in the gap!

Friend, God is looking for someone to stand in the gap as He desires to draw people to Himself. Will His eyes settle upon you, or will it be said that He couldn’t find anyone? I hope you will take your responsibility and privilege seriously.

Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT): “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, by Your grace and with Your strength, I will stand in the gap for those around me. Humbly recognizing that I am a sinner, I will pray for those around me, especially those in grievous sin. I will also speak the truth in love with a desire that they abandon their sin and fall at the foot of the cross. Lord Jesus, we desperately need a spiritual revival. Let it begin in me as I stand in the gap. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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