Walls and gates have been prominent in our world since ancient times. As soon as the nomads of the earliest history settled somewhere, they built dwellings of some sort. Villages became cities and almost immediately had to be defended against enemies of all kinds. Cities needed walls, with gates and towers for the watchmen. The symbolism of the defence of a city is part of so much of what we read in the Bible. Many ancient cities had impressive walls.
A broken wall was almost a sure sign of the defeat of a city as the inhabitants were exposed to the invaders. Often a battering ram was used to make a hole in the wall or break through the wooden gates. When this happened the bravest soldiers of the defenders would take a position in the hole and stand against the enemy to hold off the invasion.
In the book of Ezekiel, we read of God’s reproach about the gap in the wall.
You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord. (Ezekiel 13:5)
God is talking to Ezekiel about the false and foolish prophets who prophecy out of their own hearts. They let the spiritual defence of the people down and thus expose the inhabitants of the city to the attacks of the enemy. Not only did they not stand in the gap, they have built the wall with untempered mortar, thus sub-standard material. The weakness of the wall is hidden by whitewash, meaning deceit. Bad material will cause a wall to fall easily. It is double dangerous to rely on a wall that is weak but gives the impression of being strong and offers no protection against the enemy. Just like God’s warning:
There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it [the wall] down. (Ezekiel 13:11)
Floods, hail and stormy winds are the symbols used for difficult times and spiritual testing.
Job says: Terrors overtake him like a flood; a tempest steals him away in the night. (Job 27:20)
And the Psalmist says: The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. (Psalms 18:4)
God’s protection against the floods of difficulty is confirmed over all the ages:
For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters. They shall not come near him. (Psalms 32:6)
So, shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)
So in our city of life the wall must be strong and able to withstand the enemy’s battering ram and the floods of life’s struggles. Our wall is spiritual. We do not rely on hearsay or idle words. We have Jesus and his Name He has given us.
The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
It is clear that we need a wall. Our wall is the wall of fire that God promises. His presence and his glory will be our protection.
“Run, speak to this young man, saying: ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’” (Zechariah 2:4,5)
When Jerusalem (the symbol of the church of Jesus) was without a wall of protection, God promised his presence and glory to keep the people and their animals safe. What an amazing promise! Let us rejoice in it.
If the church will seek the presence of God and the wall of fire is there to protect, we will have a strong spiritual defence with no gaps. God’s presence is the wall around the church – Jerusalem.
But God says He seeks someone to make a wall and stand in the gap on behalf of the land. This Scripture gives us amazing prayer power on behalf of the greater world outside the church. We can stand on behalf of an unsaved evil world.
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall,and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
We hear the call for the gap. It is the call for intercessory prayer to protect our land and to hold the line of defence against the attack of the enemy. God will spare the city because of our prayers. He would have saved Sodom… remember?
It is clear in this time of testing, while the whole world is grinded to a halt and so many fears and uncertainty prevail, that God calls his church to rise up to the challenge of spiritual warfare. We need to put on the armour and go out to war. Prayer is the battlefield and intercessory prayer the bravery in the gap.
We seek the face of God to shift the atmosphere from defeat to victory and “build” the wall of fire around Jerusalem.
We are called to prayer. We will speak salvation over the nations.