September 3, 2017. Ezekiel 22-23
In Order. Stand in the Gap
This may be one of the harder books in the Bible to read, it is full of some of the harsher consequences the Lord dealt out to those who did not follow his command. It is a book about the sins of cities and of people, about many who turned their backs on the Lord to give in to the desires of their flesh. Sometimes it is easier to gloss over those harsher books by stating that the time they were written don’t apply to us anymore. But challenge yourself to read these chapters with an open mind and heart and try and see what the Lord is telling you.
In chapter 22 the Lord is listing out everything Jerusalem has done wrong and why he will be punishing them.
7 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths. 9 In you are slanderers who are bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrinesand commit lewd acts. 10 In you are those who dishonor their father’s bed; in you are those who violate women during their period, when they are ceremonially unclean. 11 In you one man commits a detestable offense with his neighbor’s wife, another shamefully defiles his daughter-in-law, and another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter. 12 In you are people who accept bribes to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbors. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign Lord.
“In you” eight times it is said. Ask yourself, “what does the Lord find and see in you?” Does he see contempt and hatred towards a coworker? Does he find selfishness and greed? Or does he see a humble and giving heart? Does he find love for your neighbor and a heart seeking Him? What does he see in you?
He saw none of those things in Jerusalem, not one heart willing to pursue after God. He searched for one, just one so that he may spare them.
30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.
Be that one who can stand in the gap, be the one who when the Lord looks at you and he sees the love of the Lord shining in you and through you.