By Maribeth Spangenberg
“Thus saith the Lord God: Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!… Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord”. (Ez. 13:3-5)
“Foolish mothers” is how the Lord spoke to my heart when I read this verse. Although the Scripture reference is to the false prophets of Israel and is addressing their hypocrisy and deception, I still felt the Lord’s enlightenment as to a different message “between the lines” for mothers to heed. In my mind’s eye I read the verse as “Woe unto the foolish mother that follows her own spirit and has seen nothing!”
While I am in no way attempting to misinterpret Scripture or add to God’s Word, I am seeing a personal application here. Any woman, who has the blessed honor of birthing a child, has the immediate responsibility of caring physically for that child to the best of her ability. But for a Christian mother, one who knows the Lord Jesus personally as her Lord and Savior, this responsibility is also extended to the spiritual realm. Initiating at conception, this mother has the duty and obligation to “stand in the gap” for her child. She has the blessed opportunity to intercede for her child in prayer.
First, and foremost, however, is the need for every Christian mother to keep her own Christian walk right with God, endeavoring daily to read His Word, seek His face, and live for Him. With her Savior first in her life, He will give her the grace and wisdom not to “follow [her] own spirit”, her own fleshly desires and comforts, but rather, make her family a priority. By seeking to put Christ first, she will also see evident signs of His presence and workings. Instead of “having seen nothing,” she will have the encouragement of witnessing firsthand testimony of His divine leading in her own life.
When we, ourselves, are right with the Lord, we can then “make up the hedge for our children” through prayers of intercession on their behalf. We should pray for their personal salvation, for God’s blessing on their lives, for the Lord to “fill them with the knowledge of His will” (Col.1:9), for His divine leading and guidance, and for His protective arms to encircle them and keep them from evil and harm. If we do not “stand in the gap” for our children, who will? God entrusted our children to us to raise in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”, to equip them for spiritual battle, to bring honor and glory to His name. Just as we cannot “stand in the battle” without the armor of God, neither can our children. Before their eyes are open to the realization that God is not just their Creator, but that He is also their Savior, they are unequipped for the power of Satan – “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8).
God is truly attentive to the prayers of a loving and caring mother! His listening ear is ever available to the woman “that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before [Him]” (Ez. 22:30) for her children. Let not our eternal legacy to our children be one of “Woe” – “And I sought for a [woman] among them… but I found none” (Ez.22:30). Rather, strive for the reward and joy of having been an intercessor – “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (I Tim. 2:3).
Prayer: “Thank you, Lord, for the blessed honour and privilege of being a mother! Help me to be faithful in daily bringing them to Your throne of grace!”