Standing in the Gap
Today I would like to highlight a very important responsibility that we all carry. As sons and daughters of God, we are called to prayer. This responsibility can sometimes be passed to the side, or we just forget. I would like to highlight a man who was given the task to intercede for a nation destined for destruction. Some know him best as the weeping prophet, but this man was called before he was even born to intercede for Israel. Jeremiah bore the pain of knowing that if the people did not repent all would be lost. So, Jeremiah stood in the gap, even when it meant being persecuted for his position. He was beaten, thrown in a pit, and hug on racks because of his call to repentance. You see other prophets who had more favor said everything was just fine and God was not going to let them go into captivity. So, Jeremiah prayed and prayed, not stepping away from his call to be the intercessor. Most view intercession as something lost, but I would like to tell you it is not. Like Jeremiah, we carry the responsibility to pray. A heavenly assignment should be carried with honor. Sometimes the road can be difficult, or even sometimes take us where we would choose not to go. But God gives us the mission and we bare the weight of a God-given burden. Let us carry it with honor and knowing that the outcome belongs to the Lord. Jeremiah prayed until the Lord told him to stop. The surprising thing is God’s grace came to an end, and judgment came to the people of God. This is a very scary thing, and we pray that this never happens. Let us stand in the gap, and bear the burden, tell we are released from the burden.
“Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”
Jeremiah 1:4-9 NASB1995
“But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim. “As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me. Do they spite Me?” declares the Lord. “Is it not themselves they spite, to their own shame?” Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.””
Jeremiah 7:12-20 NASB1995
Pastor Benaiah Snider