Summary: GOD'S SEARCH FOR THE SAINT
EZEKIEL 22 v. 17 -31 GOD'S SEARCH FOR THE SAINT 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.
I. THE PERIOD OF HIS SEARCH. (Ezekiel 22:1-12) A. It Was A Time Of Sin. There was :- (a) Disturbance Bloodshed & Idolatry v.3 Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself. (b) Disobedience of Parents v.7 In thee have they set light by father and mother: (c) Desecration v.8 Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths. (d) Defilement 11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter. (e) Deceit v.12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD. (f) Denial v. 28 her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken B. It Was A Time Of Seperation (Ezekiel 22:l3-22) They would be :- (a) Reproved v. 13 "Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee" (b) Removed v.15 " And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee." (c) Refined v.21 "Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you." C. It Was A Time Of Sentence (Ezekiel 22:25-28)
II. THE PLACE OF HIS SEARCH God had a problem with :- (a) THE PROPHETS - 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 mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken." (b) THE PRIESTS - 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 showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them." (c) THE PRINCES - 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 PEOPLE - 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."
III. THE PURPOSE OF HIS SEARCH. 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." A. The Pursuit. “I sought for a man” God Is Looking For A Man. Not a Woman? Why? Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. The Women were at the Cross, At the Tomb, At the Resurrection God has greater difficulty with man's devotion B. The Place. (“Among Them,” - God's People.) C. The Plan. (“That should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap”). hedge of protection. D. The Purpose. (“That I should not destroy it”) Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. E. The Problem. (“But I FOUND NONE”) Luke 10:2–“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
IV. THE PERSON OF HIS SEARCH 30 And I sought for a man A. A MAN WITH CONVICTION. An Abraham to Sacrifice (Isaac), A Samuel to Serve, A Daniel to Stand, A Paul to Suffer B. A MAN WITH COMPASSION. JUDE 22–“And of some have compassion, making a difference:” 1. Compassion For The Sinner. Psalm 126:6–“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” 2. Compassion For The Saints. Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. C. A MAN WITH COURAGE. 1. Courage To Fight. I Timothy 6:12–“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 2. Courage To Follow. Moses had died, Joshua had to go on. Joshua 1:7–“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.” 3. Courage To Finish. 2 Tim. 4:7–“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” D. A MAN WITH COMMITMENT. Romans 12:1-2 " I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."