Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Standing In The Gap, Making Up The Hedge

  • Jim Townsley
  • Oct 3, 2018

Ezekiel was transported to Babylon in the first captivity around 605 B.C. and approximately eleven years later, while in Babylon, God called him to prophesy against the sins of Israel. After reading the first twenty-one chapters of his book it is clear that judgment was coming to Israel and it was too late to stop it. In chapter twenty-two and verse thirty God reveals why this judgment was coming when He states, And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” No one was found to stand in the gap and make up the hedge. As we read this account we understood that sin was prevalent and God’s glory was not manifest in Israel. Unfortunately there was no one to call Israel back to repentance and take a stand for righteousness. The worldly and sinful culture of that day prevailed and the glory of God was missing.

Much like Ezekiel’s day God is looking for men who will go to a city, town or country and be God’s voice of righteousness. Many men are retiring from the ministry and the mission field and there are not enough replacements to take their place. Laborers are needed but how sad to think of the tragic effect of not finding a man to stand in the gap. Many young people are more interested in the American dream than the great commission. The need of the hour is great and immediate but who will go?

While churches are closing the population is growing and immigrants are flowing into our country from all over the world. Where are the laborers? Churches need to be started and many churches need to be revived and the only way that can happen is through a God-called man. God uses men not mechanisms.

In Ezekiel’s day God was looking for a man. There is nothing unusual about the man God calls except for the fact that God calls him. God uses ordinary men, seldom means of means and prestige. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” 1 Corinthians 1:26. In the Old Testament we find God used Moses, Elijah, Abraham, David and many others. In the New Testament we see how God called and used Paul, a prominent Jew, but he also called and used plain fisherman Peter, James, and John. Aquila and Pricilla appear on the scene to remind us how God used many laymen that were no necessarily pastors or evangelists. God uses ordinary men.

God was looking for these men to undertake a specific task. Their calling was for the specific purpose of standing in the gap and making up the hedge. Though we may not know exactly the issues of that day we do know the need was for someone to stand against the sinful culture and the continuous backsliding of Israel. In other words a man was needed who would not compromise and who would stand for righteousness. In the midst of the compromise of our day God is still looking for a man to stand against the compromising trends we face at this time.

One of the saddest statements in the Bible is found in verse thirty “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”Ezekiel 22:30. Lost people are everywhere and in many places there is no one to reach them. Just as in the day of Ezekiel we face a shortage of committed servants. There are not enough men entering the ministry to fill the shoes of those passing of the scene, let alone go to untouched areas and start new works. Let us pray for laborers to go into the harvest. We must challenge our best young people to surrender their lives to full time Christian work and specifically to start churches. Who will stand in the gap in our generation?