July 1, 2016 at 4:55 p.m.
STANDING IN THE GAP (Part 1)
My good friend, Mike Roquemore, was privileged to speak at the DeBerry Cemetery Day this past May. With his permission, I'd like to share excerpts of his talk with you as we focus on America's Independence Day Celebration.
"The ability to remember is a blessing from God. Some memories make us smile, while others make us weep. At times we are forgetful, but may we never forget those who have given their lives so we may enjoy the freedoms and liberties we have in America.
On the front lawn of our courthouse there is a memorial to the 103 Panola County residents who have given their lives for the privileges we enjoy. In March of 1775, Patrick Henry said in a speech at the Second Virginia Convention in support of the revolutionary war, 'I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.' I believe that describes the heart of all the heroes who have died for our country, who willingly stood in the gap between liberty and tyranny.
Israel was God's chosen people, who were a united kingdom under the reigns of David and Solomon but later became a divided kingdom. The split kingdoms quickly went into spiritual and moral decay, including their civil and religious leaders. God sent prophet after prophet to warn both kingdoms to return to Him, but to no avail. The prophet Amos warned, even though they were God's chosen people, they were not exempt from judgment. In fact, they would be held to a higher standard.
The prophet Ezekiel wrote of Israel's impending destruction and exile. He pictured God as looking for someone who would standup for what is right and be a hero in their crisis. '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' (Ezekiel 22:30). The wall spoken of by Ezekiel is not made of stone, but of faithful people united in their efforts to resist evil. But sadly, no one rose to the occasion."
Will you stand in the gap against evil today?