Today, I am reading and commenting on Ezekiel 22-23.
Ezekiel lists out the sins of the people of Israel still living in Jerusalem and Judah. The leaders are in it for themselves, going so far as to kill to advance themselves. The people despise anything holy. Sexual immorality is rampant, even that which most would consider deviant and twisted. So-called prophets speak words on behalf of God which He has not said. Even the common people oppress others when they get the opportunity. Then Ezekiel tells us what we can do if we find ourselves in a similar society (which, in my opinion, we do). God was looking for people to rebuild the wall of righteousness and others to stand in the gap in the wall.
What does it mean to “stand in the gap” and to “rebuild the wall of righteousness”? This is certainly not authoritative, but here is my take on it. We stand in the gap by pointing out how these various sins have negative consequences both for the people committing them and for the people around them. We do so by showing how sexual immorality leads to misery and poverty (sexual immorality leads to people failing to form stable families and stable families are the surest way to not be in poverty). I will not go into details about how other sins do similar things, but I will point out that God was not arbitrary in declaring things sin. He commanded us not to do certain things because those things have negative consequences, even when we do not see it that way. But standing in the gap is not enough, someone must rebuild the wall of righteousness. This involves doing more than just showing people how sin destroys themselves and others. It involves doing positive good and convincing others to turn from sin to do positive good. It means helping the poor and oppressed (and convincing others to do likewise). It means showing those trapped in sexual immorality that love is not sex and sex is not love; showing them how following God’s commands about sexuality will allow them to heal from the hurt and pain they are suffering.
God is calling some of us to “stand in the gap” and others to “rebuild the wall”, but most of us He is calling to go back and forth between standing in the gap and rebuilding the wall. We make our statements declaring the devastation of sin. Then we walk along side those who have been broken by sin and show them how God can rebuild their lives and heal them.