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Standing in the Gap                                                                Merilee Ottoson

“And I searched for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land…but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

Standing in the Gap…an expression which means to “expose oneself for the protection of something” or “to make defense against any assailing danger”.

 Accounts of Jacob begin in Genesis, chapter 25. History records that he had two wives and two maid servants with which he had 12 sons and a daughter. Jacob did something that was very unwise….he favored one of his younger sons, Joseph. During his youth, Joseph had 2 dreams which he shared with his brothers. In both dreams, his brothers were subservient to him.  And to make matters worse, Jacob gave Joseph a very special multi-colored tunic or coat. Bragging about the content of his dreams and clearly having the favor of his father gave Joseph’s ten older brothers reason to dislike him. On occasion, Joseph was sent out to check on his brothers and the flocks. The brothers conspired among themselves to “get rid of this dreamer”. They hatched a plan to kill Joseph and throw him into a pit. However, his brother Reuben, heard this and implored them to shed no blood. The other brothers ripped his multi-colored tunic from him and threw him into a pit from which Reuben planned to rescue him later. Reuben “stood in the gap”! He saved the life of his brother, Joseph. (In the following verses, we find that unknown to Reuben, the brothers later grabbed Joseph out of the pit and sold him to a band of traders who took him to Egypt.)

Near  tragedy…but not! Because Reuben made a decision to stand up for his brother, Joseph was spared and was taken to Egypt where God’s plan unfolded. As time went on, Joseph was used by God to save his family and the entire nation of Israel from famine. Though it was not popular or easy, Reuben stood up for his brother. He may not have loved or even cared about Joseph, but he obeyed what God would have him do.

Are we “standing in the gap” for someone? Anyone? How about “standing in the gap through prayer?” Over and over, the prayers of those who “stand in the gap” for sinners are answered with the winds of revival. May it be so again.