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The Gap-Man

By the time the prophet Ezekiel came upon the scene to prophesy to a wayward Israel, the Babylonian captivity was a done deal. Ezekiel served during the aftermath of God’s judgment upon the nation. In 22:30, God through his prophet offered this word of epilogue: “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 heard these words, wrote them down in 593 BC. Judah had gone into Babylonian captivity in 597 BC, or about 4 years earlier. Thus the idea of ‘epilogue’ is appropriate. 

There’s not a preacher worth his salt that hasn’t read that text and asked himself whether (1) God was STILL looking for those kinds of men, and (2) he might become the kind of gap-man God could use. Any interpreter must ask: (1) What is the historical context? (2) When did God start seeking for such a man to save the nation from ruin? (3) Is God still looking for gap-men? 

The word “gap” refers to a breach in a broken down wall. The “gap” was meant to describe the broken down status of the nation in every way—spiritually, morally and politically. The nation had become defenseless due to its rebellion against her God. The “gap” was created circa 960 BC after the death of King Solomon when the ten Northern tribes broke from the two Southern tribes by refusing to acknowledge the kingship of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. 

Under both David and Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was UNITED, a genuine theocracy with its enemies on every side subdued. But after Solomon’s death, the nation became DIVIDED. 

The verbs “sought” and “found” are both past tense, which affirms God had ceased his search and therefore unleashed his indignation against his people (22:31). The kind of man God was searching for was another David, who could bring the tribes together again, reestablish genuine worship in the land and assuage God’s wrath. But such a gap-man never came on the scene. There were a handful of ‘good’ kings that ruled in Judah during the 400-year stretch between the Kingdom split and the Captivity. But there were NONE that could serve as a UNITER. The kings in the ten Northern tribes ‘did evil’ before the Lord non-stop.

Fast forward to the shores of the Jordan River after Jesus was baptized by John. When the voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” the Father in essence was saying: “I finally have my Gap-Man, who also happens to be the God-Man!” 

The “gap” that existed in Israel had existed with mankind since Adam. Jesus of Nazareth, of the seed of David, is the Gap-Man who (1) bridged the gap between a holy God and sinful men with his substitutionary death on Calvary, (2) brought Jew and Gentile together into one body, the Church, and (3) will save ALL Israel and REUNITE the nation at his Second Coming. 

Jesus the God-Man is now THE Gap-Man for every believer who’s trusted him for salvation. He is the ONLY man who could have made up the hedge, stood in the gap for sinners, and made those once dead in trespasses and sins the sons of the Living God!


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