So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ez. 22.30

It is a sad day in the history of the nation of Israel when God commands the prophet to prophecy against the sins of the nation declaring He had no choice but to bring judgment upon them at the hands of a foreign nation. But, Yahweh makes a startling declaration that it could have been avoided if He had found but just one person, one intercessor that would have stood in the breach. Someone who would have stood up and intercede in favor of the nation.

The need for someone to stand in behalf of the land clearly identifies the fact that in The Almighty’s fundamental plans ANYTHING that He will do or not do requires that WE be involved in His decisions.

Is it possible that this great tragedy could have been avoided if there would have been someone who would have interceded in the nation’s behalf?

The worst wounds in human history, the gravest injustices to humanity, the saddest tragedies recorded, have not been done by the actions or decisions of any individual, but, by the corporate willingness or unwillingness of humans that have allowed institutions, philosophies, religions, ethnic cultures or governments to trample on basic human rights and have turned away or ignored them without lifting a voice in their behalf.

The God of Abraham had declared, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”

It is a fact, that any nation that has made negative or damaging decisions concerning the nation of Israel or the Body of Christ has eventually received some sort of judgment. “I WILL CURSE him who curses you.” Today millions of Latin Americans have fled or are fleeing the ravishes of war or famine.

It makes one wonder if those words written by Moses are applicable to every situation. It is a well-known fact that God’s creation is governed by the principles of sowing and reaping. There is a law of Divine reciprocity, when you plant a seed it yields a harvest of the same kind. “Every tree yields fruit according to its kind,” good seeds bring good harvests, bad seeds bring bad harvests. Perhaps the words of Jesus ring loud at us “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” ‘with the same measure you use it will be measured to you’.

The apostle Paul wrote “Do not be deceived, God is NOT mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap’ There is a law ALL Christians must live by, the Bible calls it the Law of Christ, which is to bear one another’s burdens, to do good to all as we have opportunity.

Today, as the prophet Nehemiah cried out cried out in behalf of the survivors who were in captivity in great distress and reproach, We must cry out for the believers in many nations that are under persecution, in prison, in famine because of the sins of their forefathers.

“We pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let your ears be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayers of your servants, which we pray before you now for the children of Israel your servants, and confess the sins of the people which we have sinned against You. Both our forefathers and we have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and your children, we have not kept your ordinances or your statutes that you ordained to your servant Moses, Remember I pray, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep my commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling place for my name. Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and your strong hand. O Lord We pray, Please let your ears be attentive to the prayer of your servants who desire to fear Your name; Grant us Mercy we pray in the sight of God and man. Nehemiah1.4-12

The prophet Ezra interceded identifying himself with the iniquities of his and the former generations.

5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God. 6 And I said: “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation,[a] as it is this day. 8 And now for a little while grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage .Ezra 9.5-8

Daniel cried out and identified himself with his sins and those of the fathers.

16 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. 17 Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake [a]cause Your face to shine on [b]Your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18 O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. 19 O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” Daniel 9.16-19

Jeremiah 9.1-2 also criers out recognizing the disobedience of the people brought judgment upon the nation. All these prophets recognized and identified in repentance asking for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The word redeemed from the Hebrew ‘padah’ means to release, to preserve, to liberate, and to ransom. Weather the ransom is effected by means of payment or supernatural intervention, it is clear that Yahweh desires for us to be instruments of reconciliation. Our ransom can be repaid through our intercession for God’s mercy and peace.

It is our duty as believers to be instruments of peace, to pray for it unto the Lord as Jeremiah commands the results being that in its peace we will have peace. Jehovah Shalom the God of PEACE calls us to be at peace with all men and to see that no one renders evil for evil but always pursue that which is good for all.

On March 30th 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared in His proclamation ‘It is the duty of all nations as well as all men, to depend on the power of the Almighty, to confess all it’s sins and trespasses with humble pain, but, with a renewed hope that true repentance will bring to us God’s mercy and forgiveness’

Before we can have forgiveness we must face the reality of what happened and be willing to confess our sin. As believers in Christ, we have an awesome responsibility and power to come humbly before the throne of grace with a humble and contrite spirit.

In spite of the fact that our Judeo-Christian culture gives us the foundation for our governments and social structures to be instruments of peace and reconciliation, I believe that the ministry of reconciliation is primarily the responsibility of the Church, The Body of Christ.

As Christians, we believe in confession, repentance, reconciliation and restitution.

We must confess and we do so here tonight, that the actions of our forefathers were evil, unjust and painful against these survivors here present and those that have passed away.

We repent in their behalf and identify with the words of the prophet Nehemiah, ‘We and our forefathers have sinned against you”

We wish to be instruments of reconciliation by asking for forgiveness and promising that we will endeavor to ensure that we will intercede for those afflicted, persecuted, tortured, imprisoned and suffering the ravishes of segregation, hatred and violence.

We can begin by simply praying for the peace of Israel, Jerusalem and the Jewish people and for a return to God in this nation.

As a descendant of Sephardite Jews expelled from Spain by the most evil Spanish Inquisition I can identify with rejection and hatred but today I can truly say. Jehovah Shalom is my peace.

God’s people are the ransomed or redeemed of the Lord, and there is an eternal promise given by the prophet Isaiah:

Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear!, Behold your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you… and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing. With everlasting joy in their heads, They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Is. 35.3-4, 35.10

To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both now and forever, Amen