Lions, Wolves and Chickens – 6/9/19 AM

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Lions, Wolves and Chickens

Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

Intro: All my life, I have heard verse 30 preached. This verse has been preached to churches all over the country to illustrate God’s search for a man – a preacher. But not one single time have I ever heard this verse preached in its proper context.

  • This verse is not talking about God can’t find a man to preach the message of salvation.
  • This verse is not talking about God’s inability to find a man to preach on sin.
  • This verse is not talking about God’s difficulty in finding a man to preach on sanctification and separation.

Let’s examine the biblical context of this passage and discover what God is talking to Ezekiel about.

The land is:

  1. The Land was Dirty – vs. 24 Thou art the land that is not cleansed…
  2. The Land was Dry – vs. 24b …nor rained upon in the day of indignation.
  3. The Land was being Destroyed – vs. 25-31

I. The Horror

There are four elements that were inflicting terror and hurt on the nation:

A. The Conspiring of the Prophets – vs. 25 (…conspiracy, treason, (unlawful) alliance)

  • 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.
  • 28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.

B. The Confusion of the Priests – vs. 26 …no difference between the holy and profane…

  • 26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

C. The Corruption of the Princes – vs. 27

  • 27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

D. The Coercion of the People – vs. 29 “…oppression…oppressed…”

  • 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.

 

II. The Hunt

A. The Search for a Man

God sought for a man. All it takes is one man to turn the tide.

God sought for a man among them. Not an outsider; but a man AMONG THEM.

The man that God was searching for is to prevent the prophets and priests from getting into the “midst”

God is not going to use an OUTSIDER to change what is going on IN THE MIDST

THREE TIMES we see that the roaring lions and the ravening wolves are IN THE MIDST. – vs. 25 (2X) and vs. 27

 

B. The Specifics of the Mandate

How does this happen? What was God looking for that man to do?

Identification

Notice verse 1, 2:

  • 1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
  • 2 Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.

God searched for a man that could identify roaring lions and ravening wolves

There is a shortage of men today that will call a wolf a wolf.

There is a shortage of preachers today that will call a lion a lion.

Confrontation – vs. 2 …thou shalt shew her all her abominations…

  • Someone has to confront the shedding of blood IN THE MIDST – vs. 3
  • Someone has to confront the idolatry – vs. 3
  • Someone has to confront the reproach and mockery to the rest of the world – vs. 4, 5
  • Someone has to confront the oppression of the strangers, the fatherless and the widows – vs. 7
  • Someone has to confront the profaning of holy and spiritual things – vs. 8
  • Someone has to confront the lewdness that is being committed – vs. 9
  • Someone has to confront the sexual depravity – vs. 10, 11
  • Someone has to confront the bribery, greed, financial corruption and extortion. – vs. 12, 13

Realization – it is not just about pointing out the wolves and lions. It is a much bigger cause.

C. The Seriousness of the Missionthat I should not destroy the land…

  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the lions would destroy the land. And they were.
  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the wolves would destroy the land. And they were.
  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the lions would destroy the land. And they were.
  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the prophets would destroy the land. And they were.
  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the priests would destroy the land. And they were.
  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the princes would destroy the land. And they were.
  • God’s message to Ezekiel was not that the people would destroy the land. And they were.

It was ultimately going to be the LACK OF someone willing to stand in the gap and make up the hedge that would ultimately bring about the destruction of the land!

 

III. The Heartbreak

The heartbreaking realization is that God sought for a man, AND FOUND NONE.

  • This is a God that sees everything.
  • This is a God that knows everything.
  • This is a God that is everywhere.

If you and I can’t find something, it can be blamed on our limitations concerning our ability to search.

When God can’t find something, it is because it doesn’t exist!!

  • He couldn’t find ONE SINGLE MAN to identify the atrocities.
  • He couldn’t find ONE SINGLE MAN to say THUS SAYETH THE LORD.
  • He couldn’t find ONE SINGLE MAN to be a mouthpiece.
  • He couldn’t find ONE SINGLE MAN to stand in the hedge.
  • He couldn’t find ONE SINGLE MAN to make up the gap.
  • He couldn’t find ONE SINGLE MAN to confront the lions and wolves that tried to get into the midst.

In a land filled with roaring lions, God only found cowardly and unwilling men.

In a land filled with ravening wolves, the only thing God found were a bunch of chickens.

  • You say, Preacher, it’s not my fight. Is it your land?
  • You say, Preacher, it’s not my problem. Is it your people?
  • You say, Pastor, the destruction and the devouring going on in is too big to take on.
  • You say, Brother, I don’t want to get involved. The lions and the wolves are in our midst. You ARE involved!
  • The treasure and the precious things in verse 25 might be your wife or children next.

God was just looking for A MAN. One. Just one.

Are you a man, or are you a chicken?

Because there were no man, God issued His judgment in verse 31:

  • 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.

Conclusion: That person that God is searching for can be anyone that is willing to do what needs to be done.

That person can start by standing for what is right in their own personal life.

That person can start by standing for what is right in their home.

That person can start by standing for what is right on the job.