Stand in the Gap Before God to Confront Injustice
Ezekiel confronted the city that became an object of scorn to nations when it used its power to shed blood and made idols. They treated parents with contempt, oppressed the alien, mistreated the fatherless and widow, despised holy things, committed lewd acts and sexual sins, accepted bribes, charged excessive interest and made unjust gain by extortion. Israel became dross in a land without rain. They knew He poured out His wrath upon them. Princes took treasures and precious things from the people. Priests did violence to the law without distinguishing between the holy and common. Officials killed people to make unjust gain. Prophets whitewashed deeds by false visions and lying about what God said. People committed robbery, oppressed the poor and needy, and denied justice to the alien. God looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before Him in the gap on behalf of the land so He would not have to destroy it, but found no one (Ezek. 22:1-31). Stand in the gap before God to confront injustice.
Stop Strongholds of Sexual Sin
Two sisters became prostitutes in Egypt. Oholah gave birth to Samaria and Oholibah to Jerusalem. Oholah lusted after the elite in Assyria and defiled herself with the idols. They stripped and killed her. Oholibah became more depraved than her sister by lusting after men portrayed on a wall. God stirred up lovers like the Babylonians and Assyrians of high rank against her. They punished Oholibah according to their standards by sword and stole her children and fine jewelry. Their enemies dealt with her in hatred, took away everything she had worked for and drank the cup of ruin and desolation. She bore the consequences of her lewdness and prostitution. Ezekiel confronted the two sisters when they committed adultery with idols, sacrificed children, defiled the sanctuary and desecrated His Sabbaths. God ended lewdness in the land so all women would take warning and not imitate them. They suffered the penalty of their lewdness and bore the consequences of idolatry (Ezek. 23:1-49). Stop strongholds of sexual sin by confronting it.
Identify and Pray Against Strongholds of Sin
God told Ezekiel to record the date that the king of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem. He told this rebellious house a parable about pouring water and putting choice pieces of meat in a pot while filling it with the best leg and shoulder bones. They took the pick of the flock, piled wood beneath it and cooked the bones. God said, "Woe to the city of bloodshed!" He piled the wood high to melt the impurities. Their impurity was lewdness, but He tried to cleanse it but they refused. God told Ezekiel not to mourn over his wife's death as a sign to Israel. God desecrated His sanctuary or stronghold that they took pride in as the object of affection. They were not to mourn but wasted away because of their sin. A fugitive told Ezekiel when God took away their stronghold that became their joy, glory, delight and heart desire. They would know that He was Lord (Ezek. 24:1-27). Identify and pray against strongholds of sin.
Eliminate Malice of Heart and Revenge
God told Ezekiel to prophesy against the Ammonites when they rejoiced with malice of heart when Israel was led into exile. People from the East took possession of Ammon and ate their fruit. God exposed the flank of Moab and gave them to the people of the East as a possession. Ammon was not remembered and inflicted punishment on Moab. Because Edom took revenge on Judah and became guilty, God killed its men and their animals. Israel took vengeance on Edom according to God's wrath. Because the Philistines took revenge with malice in their hearts seeking to destroy Judah, God's wrath destroyed them (Ezek. 25:1-17). Eliminate malice of heart and revenge to prevent God's judgment.
Refuse Trusting in Prosperity
Tyre said they prospered since Jerusalem lied in ruins. The Lord said many nations destroyed Tyre's walls and towers to know He was Lord. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon ravaged their settlements, broke their walls, killed their people, plundered their wealth and demolished their fine houses. Tyre would never be rebuilt. Leaders trembled when the city of renown and the power on the sea was destroyed. God ended their perfection of beauty as they went down into the pit or earth below. Many nations did business with Tyre because of their great wealth of goods. Tashish exchanged silver for their merchandise. Greece traded and exchanged slaves and bronze articles for their wares. Beth Togarmah exchanged work horses, Rhodes paid ivory tusks, Aram exchanged turquoise, purple fabric and rubies, and Sheba exchanged spices, precious stones, gold and beautiful garments. Tyre's merchants sunk into the heart of the sea during their shipwreck (Ezek. 26:1-27:36). Refuse trusting in prosperity that destroy society.
Refuse Pride in Intellectualism, Skill, Wealth and Beauty
Tyre's pride made them say they were wise as a god. Their wisdom and understanding enabled them to gain wealth. Great skill in trading increased their wealth and caused their heart to be proud. Thinking they were wise like a god, God brought nations to kill them. Through widespread and dishonest trade, they sinned and were filled with violence. Their heart became proud because of their beauty. They corrupted their wisdom because of their splendor. God showed Himself holy by making blood flow in Sidon's streets. Israel would no longer have malicious neighbors like sharp thorns. God showed Himself holy as He regathered them from the nations where they were scattered. They lived safely, build houses and planted vineyards (Ezek. 28:1-26). Refuse pride in intellectualism, skill, wealth and beauty to prevent destruction.
Refuse Making People Your Source of Confidence
Ezekiel prophesied against Pharaoh king of Egypt who said the Nile was his. God made fish stick to his scales. Egypt splintered when Israel grasped them as a staff of reed. God ruined and scattered them among the nations. After 40 years, God gathered the Egyptians. He returned them to Pathros as the lowliest and weakest of kingdoms never to rule over other nations. Egypt would never be a source of confidence for Israel, but reminded them of their sin in turning to her for help. God gave Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to carry off its wealth (Ezek. 29:1-21). Refuse making people your source of confidence instead of God.
In order to stand in the gap before God:
1. Confront injustice
2. Stop strongholds of sexual sin
3. Pray against strongholds of sin
4. Eliminate malice of heart and revenge
5. Refuse trusting in prosperity
6. Refuse pride in intellectualism, skill, wealth and beauty
7. Refuse making people your source of confidence