“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads,” declares the Lord God. (Ezekiel 22:30–31, ESV)
In Ezekiel 22 we have a record of the word of the Lord coming to Ezekiel. It is a hard chapter to read for God is speaking about Israel, His own people, the nation He had promised to Abraham so many years before.
In this passage, we find the nation in rebellion. God speaks of the sins of the prophets who have devoured human lives, proclaimed false visions and divining lies. The priests have done violence to God’s Law. The princes have shed blood, destroying lives for dishonest gain. The people have practiced extortion and committed robbery. Yet in the midst of the sins of His people God looks for someone to stand in the gap and intercede for forgiveness and mercy.
In Exodus 32 Moses came down from the mountain to find the people had made and were worshipping a golden calf. God said; “Let me alone that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them…” But Moses stood between God and Israel and Scripture says “God changed His mind about the harm He would do to Israel.”
In Genesis 18 Yahweh appears to Abraham and in the course of the conversation tells him of His plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleads with Him not to destroy the cities ‘because there may be righteous.’ We know the story, if there had been even ten righteous, God would have withheld His hand.
Ultimately judgement can only be withheld on the basis of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, His death on our behalf and resurrection from the dead. But under the Old Testament Covenant, which God had agreed with Israel, the consequences of rebellion and sin was judgement.
Without intercession that judgement could not be set aside.
Jesus is THE INTERCESSOR the One who stood between this world and the Father, between this world and the powers of darkness. We are His Body here on earth, called to represent Him. We are His ambassadors, with His authority to intercede on behalf of this land. I think it was John Wesley who said: “God does nothing apart from PRAYER and everything through it.”
I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.” (Psalm 2:7–8, ESV)
Father, as we move into a New Year we come to You in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ to intercede for this land. Like Israel of old we have sinned against you at every level of society and we pray for forgiveness and mercy, we pray for a powerful movement of Your Spirit among us in the months ahead.