April 30th, 2022: Haftarah – Ezekiel 22:1-19
This week’s Haftarah portion is Ezekiel 22:1-19. Listen in as Dr. Jeffery Myers elaborates on what it truly means to "stand in the gap".
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftarah:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion – Ezekiel 22:1-19
Lion of Judah Ministries
Dr. Jeffery L. Myers
As we look at Ezekiel 22, Elohim speaks against Israel, the leaders, the house of Israel for their disgusting practices that they have allowed to occur- idol worship, shedding blood, the oppression of foreigners, wronging of orphans and widows. They were treating His holy things with contempt and profaning His Shabbats. People were gossiping to the point of inciting bloodshed, committing lewd acts, and incest, causing themselves to be profaned in full view of the nations. Judgment was coming…a scattering of the people among the nations and the dispersing throughout the countries in order to remove their defilement from them. The leaders who were supposed to speak truth; the prophets and priests, were devouring people, seizing their wealth and valuables, doing violence to His Torah, made no difference between the holy and the common, unclean or clean, hid their eyes from His Shabbats, whitewashed the truth, false visions, extorted, robbed, wronged the poor and needy. Because of this the fire of His rage and fury was about to be poured out.
This sounds familiar today with teachers, preachers, and prophets following after their own gain and desires not following Torah and basically raping the people and in reality, turning them away from the things of Yah and YHVH Himself! Ezekiel 22:30 says,” I sought for a man among them who could build a barricade or stand in the break to oppose me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.” YHVH was looking for someone to stand in the gap, yet found no one. This is such a sad verse…NO ONE could be found!
If there is a gap in the wall it places everyone at risk. A breach in the wall meant the enemies could push through. If there was a breach in the wall it was the leader’s responsibility to stand in the gap and protect the people. In the case of the early Hebrew people, prophets were these leaders: Ezekiel 13:3-5 says,” Adonai Elohim says: “Woe to the vile prophets who follow their own spirits and things which they have not seen! Israel, your prophets have been like jackals among ruins. You (prophets) have not gone up to the breaks in the barricade or repaired it for the house of Israel, so that they can stand fast in battle on the day of Adonai.”
With no one willing to stand in the breach, the walls would collapse! Isaiah 30:12-13 tells us,” Therefore here is what the Holy One of Israel says: “Because you reject this word, trust in extortion and rely on deceit, this sin will become for you a crack bulging out high on a wall, showing signs it is ready to fall; then suddenly, all at once, it breaks.” However, where humans have failed, YHVH would prevail. Although Jerusalem would fall, YHVH promised to restore.
In Ezekiel 22:29-31, “The people of the land have extorted, robbed, wronged the poor and needy and unjustly oppressed foreigners. I sought for a man among them who could build a barricade or stand in the break to oppose me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore, I am pouring out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my rage, bringing their own ways on their own heads, says Adonai Elohim.” Interesting that YHVH looked for someone to say to Him, “we are worthy to be saved”, but He found no one. YHVH showed He was willing to change His plans for those who asked for it.
We hear many pastors, teachers, prophets, and intercessors using the phrase “standing in the gap” when referring to praying for others; but we really don’t understand the power of this phrase and what it really means. The word “intercede” literally means “go between”. Think of a brick wall, in particular, the mortar in the joints between the bricks. That mortar “goes between”, or “intercedes” between the bricks to bind them together and strengthen them. Without the mortar “going between” the bricks, the wall would collapse.
If you want to break down the wall, the easiest way is to start where there are gaps in the mortar. You start chopping and chipping at those sections and soon the entire wall will lack the support it needs and will give way.
This is what the enemy has done and continues to do. He and his cohorts look for those weaknesses in us-places where there are gaps or chinks in our personalities or spiritual armor. Looking for those things that cause offense in us, or where we’ve compromised truth for self-advancement or exaltation. They know where the pride, contentious and resentful triggers are, or where we’re vulnerable to a religious spirit or divisive spirit. They know which people, incidents and conditions are most likely to have the greatest impact and cause us to lose our spiritual balance. They target our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our familiar sins. They look for emotional wounds, or habits about which we feel some shame or guilt.
Ezekiel 22 shows that the sins and failures of the people were widely distributed; the priests, officials, prophets, and the people. So, within this darkness YHVH declares, “I looked for someone among them who would “build the wall” and “stand in the gap” on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, BUT I FOUND NO ONE!”
Why does Adonai do this? Many times, the problem has an underlying issue. The problem at times doesn’t require judgment, it requires intercession. It is the heart of YHVH to apply mercy and grace to His people. Many times, people serving Adonai may say things to other people as to bring about judgment. We know that sometimes people are frail and instead of trying to uplift the people; we hit them with the rod of judgment, then when they stumble, we feel we’re the righteous ones! Who can do the opposite, who will intercede? Who will pray or who will stand in the breach?
YHVH is calling His people to begin to walk with His heart and His Spirit. I realize that it’s not the same for every situation; there are other times where Adonai will bring about judgment. We need to be people whose hearts are sanctified to Adonai and begin to apply the right standard and the right attitude of Adonai, using the right measure of spiritual authority in any given situation. If our perspective is in error, YHVH will not approve our standards. We might be speaking truth but make the mistake of misapplying those truths, and therefore we fall into error.
And so, Yeshua became the One Who would stand in the breach and face YHVH on behalf of humanity. YHVH found no man, so He sent a part of Himself to be the True human to save humanity. Where did Yeshua stand in the breach… the cross! John 2:18-22 says, “So the Judeans confronted Him by asking Him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do all this?” Yeshua answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.” The Judeans said, “It took 46 years to build this Temple, and you’re going to raise it in three days?” But the “temple” He had spoken of was His body. Yeshua’s body would stand in the breach for all of us, absorbing our sins, and sending iniquity to the grave.
Mark 15:34, “At three, He uttered a loud cry” Elohi! Elohi! L’mah sh’vaktani?” (which means, “My God! My God! Why have you deserted Me?”). YHVH turned away from the scene because He had to…He had to let Yeshua “stand in the gap” and drink the cup. But the living Yah could not be taken down by death. He would defeat death and rise again!
John 20:19-22 says, “In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom Aleikhem!” Having greeted them, He showed them His hands and His side. The talmidim were overjoyed to see Adonai. “Shalom Aleikhem!” Yeshua repeated, just as the Father sent Me, I myself am also sending you.” Having said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Ruach HaKodesh.” The Hebrew concept of peace means complete, full circle, life as it was meant to be. Yeshua completed the task and by standing in the gap between YHVH and humans, He turned the breach into a door through which we can enter and stand face to face with our Creator.
John 10:9-10 says, “I am the gate; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.” Once upon a time YHVH looked for a human to say to Him, “we are worthy to be saved”, but eventually He had to tell Himself. And He did that by sending His beloved Son, the Messiah to stand in the gap and be the One to say, “you are worthy!’ So, when we intercede for one another, our chief purpose is to fill in those gaps in one another’s spiritual armor and hold up that person so the enemy can’t gain advantage over them. Yeshua said in John 13:35, “Everyone will know that you are my talmidim by the fact that you have love for each other.” How can we say we love one another and not pray for each other? It’s impossible! It’s a contradiction and a lie!
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Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha!
Enjoy His appointed day with rest and worship!