stand in the gap

to defend or help those in need
—I’m worried about the children who lost their parents in the war. Who will stand in the gap for them?

The Lord told Ezekiel that the leaders of the Israelites in Jerusalem were corrupt and that their prophets spoke lies. He compared the people’s spiritual condition to a city whose surrounding wall had been broken down, leaving those inside without defense against the enemy. The Lord looked for a prophet in Jerusalem to begin repairing that spiritual wall, stand where the wall was still broken, and warn the people about the coming destruction, but there was no one who would obey him:

I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. So I have poured my anger on them, and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done, declares the sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 22:30,31)

Finally, during the third attack of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, the city and the temple were destroyed.

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