Sunday, February 5, 2012

Standing in the Gap Guest Column by an Israeli Ministry

A second-generation Israeli Messianic minister recently preached this word in northern IsraelHe must remain nameless for the sake of security issues, but we thought this was an excellent word about how the Body of Messiah in Israel is “standing in the gap” for the unsaved Israeli people, and how we believers in the nations may in turn “stand in the gap” for them.

The righteous, prophetic remnant within Israel is called to stand in the breach and to build up protection for all of Israel. They are called to prepare the people for the future, for difficulty, for the day of judgment, and the day of war. They are called to identify the threats against Israel, prepare the people for them, and be dynamically available to fill in and make up for weaknesses in the defense of the people in standing against the attacking forces.

Eze 13:3  Thus says the Lord GOD, Woe to the foolish prophets who … have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the LORD.

MILITARY THREATS  Obviously there are mortal military threats against Israel. Even "friendly" neighbors (such as Jordan and Egypt) have different undercurrents of anti-Israel sentiment and incitement. Iran is coupling the most serious verbal threats with its determined bid at developing nuclear weapons, which appears to be on the very threshold of success. Israeli intelligence experts are continuously analyzing the current constellation of forces most likely to cause attacks or outright war on Israel. The popular uprisings of the Arab "Spring" are bringing to power extreme Muslim groups very antagonistic toward Israel. We are so accustomed to these threats, that the occasional missile sent by terrorist groups from Gaza into southern Israel barely receives mention in the Israeli press much less in the international media.

A partial list of current military threats:
    Hizbullah - Lebanon
    Hamas – Gaza
    Terrorist groups in the Palestinian Authority territories

OTHER THREATS  In addition to the recognized, visible and reported military threats, there are also other threats on Israel (and many of them against all of humanity).

A partial list:
    Anti-Israel sentiment in the international media and in many nations
    Economic need and the fear of it
    Violence in our societies
    Substance abuse
    Sexual Immorality
    Breakdown of families, from chronic dysfunction to divorce

THREAT ON SEVERAL LEVELS  As we translate the military imagery of Ezekiel into our daily lives let us also remember that each and every one of these threats is on several levels.  The soldier fighting most effectively fights at the end of the day because he feels the threat against all that is closest to him: his friends and his family, and ultimately, his own life. As we become aware of all these threats, we must recognize that they are arrayed against us on each of these levels.

    Against the entire human race
    Against a nation
    Against a city/neighborhood
    Against our congregational family
    Against our home family
    Against us personally

HOW CAN WE STAND IN THE BREACH  In warfare, the soldiers supplement a system of defense that is in place, such as a wall. If the enemy punches a hole (a "breach") in the defense, soldiers must rush bravely into the breach and close the gap in defending the people. How can we do the same?

God is seeking for those who are willing, aware and available.  Such people are rare and sometimes cannot be found:  Eze 22:30  And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

Psa 106:23  Therefore he said he would destroy them-- had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him...

Moses stood in the breach in intercession on behalf of his people in their sin. Moses' intercession consisted of recounting before God, God's destiny, His calling and intention and promises, of calling on God to relent from just judgment in favor of un - merited grace in continuing to draw the people of Israel into a future of cooperation with their Lord in displaying Himself and His works to the people of the earth. Ultimately Moses asks God to erase Moses from the book of life, if judgment cannot be averted.

In Yeshua Himself we see the ultimate example of the man whom God sought (and became) and found who would stand in the breach on behalf of Israel and all mankind.

So we have in Moses and Yeshua two examples of standing in the breach, standing in the gap:
    Speaking in righteousness,
    Agreeing with God that His will be done on earth,
    Contending for weak and fallen men,
    Believing in spite of what we see with our eyes at present
    Contending for God's purposes and promises
    Believing even in the most unpromising of circumstances for God's covenant people to enter into their destiny
    Bringing atonement for sin

A REMNANT IN ISRAEL TODAY  Isa 58:12  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach…

This prophecy points to a people who return to Israel and rebuild and are rebuilt, a people who will be repairers of the breach, a people who will stand in the gap.  May we stand together in agreement for this people to arise. May we be among them.

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