Searching for a Man

Text: Ezekiel 22:30

We sometimes wonder what good one person can do. Individually, how much do our actions impact the situation around us? From our perspective, the impact may be minimal; but from God’s perspective, it may be much different. Our text reminds us of the importance of our efforts as individuals so that we will not think our efforts are in vain.

Summary of the Situation

  • Conspiracy of the prophets (Ezekiel 22:25, 28) – motivated by money; spoke what people wanted to hear
  • Violence of the priests (Ezekiel 22:26) – blurred the lines between clean and unclean, holy and profane
  • Greed of the princes (Ezekiel 22:27) – forsook their role as civil leaders for their own power and wealth
  • Sin of the people (Ezekiel 22:29) – violated God’s law; particularly by doing harm to their fellow man
  • It is easy to see parallels between their situation and the conditions that exist around us

A Man Among Them

  • An individual – a man in this context; certain times God requires action from a man (1 Timothy 2:11-12); individually, we are required to act as God has called us to regardless of what others do (Numbers 25:6-8)
  • One among them – there would not be a hero come in from the outside to save them; being among God’s people means we are (should be) ready to act (1 Peter 1:13)
  • One who was aware of the situation – we cannot respond to a problem if we do not know it exists; we must be watchful (1 Peter 5:8), not bury our heads in the sand and expect others to do all the watching

One Who Would Build Up the Wall

  • Building up the wall was for the purpose of preparing for future attacks – important work (cf. Nehemiah 2:17)
  • To “build up the wall” today is to strengthen the defenses of the church against attacks – strengthen ourselves (Jude 20); strengthen others (1 Thessalonians 5:11); strengthening comes through the word (Acts 20:32)

One Who Would Stand in the Gap

  • Two applications we can make from this – standing in a breach in the wall where the city is vulnerable
  • First, to “stand in the gap” is to make intercession to God for the people (Psalm 106:23; cf. Exodus 32:9-14) – we should be concerned enough about the state of God’s people to pray about it (Romans 10:1; 2 Corinthians 11:28)
  • Second, to “stand in the gap” can also refer to defending against attacks – we must be set for the defense of the gospel (Philippians 1:16); stand against sin and error (1 Corinthians 5:2; Titus 1:9)

No One Was Found

  • Though God was just looking for one person, He “found no one” – because of this, destruction came against the people (Ezekiel 22:31)
  • It is possible for God’s people to reach the point that there is no one willing to take a stand (Revelation 2:14-15, 20) – result is that we will be “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)
  • When that happens, there is no hope – God intervened by sending Christ because we could not be saved otherwise (Romans 5:6); however, if we fail to do what we can, God will not intervene further (Hebrews 9:28)

Conclusion

  • It may seem like one person cannot do much – but our efforts are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)
  • Obviously, we should expect our fellow Christians to be active in serving the Lord and standing for the truth
  • But our first concern is to look to ourselves – make sure we’re doing all we can be doing

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Blessings, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.