God is looking for a man to stand in the gap, (v. 30) - a man who, like Moses, would love God and his neighbor enough to intercede for them both (Deut. 9:26). That is, He seeks men who would pray to God, for God’s glory, through His being merciful to His people. God is looking for men like Job, who interceded for his children (Job 1:5).
Thus to “stand in the gap” means to notice the sins of one’s people, to name them, and to pray for them, for God to grant them mercy and repentance (2 Tim. 2:25).
God is looking for Christian Nationalists: men who will see their nation with His eyes, according to His Word, and respond to Him according to His character - men who will beseech God for nothing less that revival, repentance and reformation.
In Ezekiel’s generation, God found no man who loved God and nation like this. So then, He brought His just wrath upon them. But that was not the final word. As He will promise to do later in Ezekiel, God came Himself, and stood in the gap Himself, for us. Christ came praying for us, interceding for us, and dying for us, under the just wrath that our sins created.
Everybody loves to talk about standing in the gap, but few people actually do it. That’s because it requires following our Lord to his cross, and sacrificing oneself. It requires a willingness to observe and call out the sins of one’s own people (v. 1-12) - which is why a prophet is never welcome in his own town (Luke 4:24).
And yet such men are needed again. My state - California - resembles verses 1-12 all too well. We are the Cretans, as Paul quoted one of their own poets - liars, evil beasts (Titus 1:12). Yet this is also the state of John MacArthur and Rick Warren, two of the biggest names in Christendom. So much supposed “winning” by Christians, and yet here we are: a laughingstock of a mini-nation, because of all our debauchery, violence and insanity (v. 5). Or as one of our own poets put it,
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise
Bring your alibis1
Every generation must fight its own battles. Thus God still asks the question: who will walk in my Son’s steps? Who will intercede for thispeople? Who will stand in the gap?
There are no such men, except those who bank their lives on the resurrection of Christ. There are no such men, except among those that simply spend time with this risen Jesus, in His Word. There are no such men, except among those who have died to this world, and therefore can see it from the perspective of heaven.
God give us such men.
Don Henley, The Eagles.