Gaps are important. Ancient military strategy had people who would stand in the gaps to defend a position. In football, the gaps between the center, guard, tackle and end are lettered A, B, C, and D respectively. From a defensive position, plays are called to penetrate or control certain gaps, and the offense is required to protect the gaps. A double A-gap blitz, for example, is two additional defensive rushers on both sides of the center. It requires a double team on one side and an extra blocker in the backfield for the offense to defend the A gaps. In other words, extra players are needed to protect the gaps or the play most likely will fail. Similarly, in society there are gaps that also must be protected for people to succeed.
Gaps also are noted in the Bible. Psalm 106:23 speaks of the Israelites forgetting the works of their savior in Egypt by tempting God in the wilderness, saying, “Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach to turn away his wrath, lest he destroy them.” Speaking of the time of the end in Isaiah 63:5, the word of the Lord came, “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold.” In Ezekiel 22, the Lord is lamenting the sins of Jerusalem and how the prophets have conspired to devour souls. In verse 30, He says, “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.” Christians using this verse often leave off the part about finding none.
Standing in the gap in football or a military battle shows alignment with the will of the coach, or commander. Standing in the gap is a form of intercession. Whether it be by prayer or by action or, preferably, both, when we stand in the gap for the land before the Lord, it shows the Lord that we care about the things that he cares about. When our will and God’s will align, God is then moved of the importance that we are interceding and working toward His will being accomplished. When our intercession and God’s will align, a spiritual force is often released. As in Isaiah 59:16 where there was no justice or truth and the righteous were a prey to evil, the Lord’s arm brought salvation.
Are you one who stands in the gap? When you stand in the gap, you inspire others around you. When you stand in the gap, the Lord sees your heart and is moved by His mercy and compassion. If you are a farmer, you are standing in the gap. If you are a first responder, you are standing in the gap. If you are a health care provider, you are standing in the gap. If you are an encourager, you are standing in the gap. If you are a grocery store clerk, you are standing in the gap. If you help those in need, you are standing in the gap. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you are standing in the gap. If you pray and act, you are standing in the gap. Gaps are important during this time in our nation and around the world. Fill them with your love, kindness, prayer, and action. Be a gap-stander!