Standing in the Gap"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. 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 them upon their heads," declared the Master Yahooah.
In order to understand this passage, we need to understand the meaning of the term 'stand in the gap'. During the days when men fought face-to-face and hand-to-hand, there were many ancient legends of a small band of men or a single man standing in a narrow passage holding off an entire army single handed.
This term is well illustrated by the legend of the Roman hero who withstood the Etruscan army and saved Rome. According to the legend, Rome was under surprise attack by the Etruscans. The people who lived in the surrounding countryside fled towards Rome as fast as they could. The poured across the narrow wooden bridge over the Tiber that connected Rome with its farm fields on the other side, seeking refuge in the walled city of Rome. The Etruscan army was on their heels.
If the Etruscans crossed the bridge they would take Rome. Horatius, a young Roman soldier called to his friends to chop down the bridge while he hold of the Etruscans. Horatius stood firm and fought like a hero. When the Etruscans tried to cross the bridge he cut them down while his friends sawed down the bridge.
The bridge eventually gave way and Horatius dived into the Tiber and swam to safety while the Etruscans fell back.
Similarly if the walls of a city were breached in battle , a warrior would consider it his greatest honor to stand in the narrow gap , face the enemy and defend the entire city.
The enemy is constantly attacking and working to penetrate the walls of our religious institutions, the institutions of our family, friends and associates. In these instances we are called to stand in the gap, make up the hedge with our prayers of intercession on their behalf.