Standing between the Living and the Dead
“And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.”
The Israelites grumbled against God’s servants and angered the LORD so much that His wrath went out against them, killing 14,700 people! You might say, “God was kind of harsh!”, but He is righteous in all His judgments. The fact that He allows us to live another day shows us His great kindness, for we have sinned against Him our entire lives, without caring at all that we have offended the One who gave us life.
During this deadly plague from God, Moses and Aaron, the very ones whom the Israelites were angry at, interceded for the people and made atonement for their lives, standing between the living and the dead. Because of them, the plague was stopped. This is a picture of the believer’s job today.
The world is in a state of rebellion towards its Creator, and His righteous wrath is consuming life after life as people die in their sins (John 3:36). Even though the world will speak against you if you are serving Christ, every believer is called to stand in the gap between the living and the dead. We must cry out to God on their behalf, that He would intervene and save them. That is called loving our enemies.
We must obey the command to love others as we love ourselves, which means that we care about where they will spend eternity; for truly, they are one step away from slipping into hell forever, with no hope of ever escaping. Because of this horrific tragedy, we must be deeply moved with compassion for them, crying out to God on their behalf, standing between them and hell through intercessory prayer.
Lord help us to remove those things that waste our time, and empower us with Your Spirit, that we might lift our prayers up to the Lord for the lost, and reach out our hands to them, doing all that we can to persuade them to seek life in Jesus.
Love Jonathan Ball