“And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,’Son of man, say to her [Israel]: “…The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things… Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy … Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 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…”(Ezek. 22:23-30).
But even God can’t work without man. We are called to co-operate.
History is the story of the race, of the nation, of the individual; and so, while God has been making His revelation, He has been making it to men [and women] and He has been looking for men who will apprehend the revelation and carry forward His purpose here in time.
My brethren, I point out to you that God has never wrought anything tremendous by means of masses and crowds in human history. He has wrought His wonders through the ages by individuals–people whom He could trust, people who exercise faith.
What is faith? We are told in this first verse [Hebrews 11:1], “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The objects, therefore, of faith, are the future and the unseen; and the office of faith is to give present existence to future things and vital reality to unseen things. And wherever such faith has been exercised, wherever men have laid hold of the divine revelation, God has built a new era in the human story.
[Consider the example of Noah: “The Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” – Gen. 6:7,8. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” Heb. 11:6,7]
It is the advent of personality which alters the current of history. The sharp turning points of history are due to the rise of great personalities. It is not so much by ideas as by personalities that God sets the world forward. The mightiest civilizing powers are personalities, and the mightiest civilizing personalities are Christian men.
[“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” -2 Chron. 16:9.
The apostle Paul testified, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” – 1 Cor. 15:10.
Will you choose to radically believe God and cooperate with Him in this generation?]
 God uses an individual as a general pattern, based on His own sovereign design. “Man” is used in a generic sense for a human being.
Bracketed content added – JBW
William Graham Scroggie 1877-1958… was born at Great Malvern, England, of Scottish parents. Being one of nine children in a home without normal educational advantages, he grew up among the brethren, and later, after a few years in business, entered Spurgeon’s College in London at the age of 19 to train for the Baptist ministry… After pastorates in England, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, the United States, and Canada, he became pastor of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, during World War II.