From Ezekiel 21-22
Throughout Israel and Judah’s history there were people who stood in the breach. The LORD raised up prophets and some kings who were faithful to the LORD’s calling. Ezekiel in this passage refers to numbers of people – prophets (lots of prophets), priests (lots of priests) and princes (lots of leaders). Leading the people in godliness involves the work of many people. Unfortunately, they collectively failed and were thus punished for it (conquered, exiled, etc). At the end of the passage the LORD looks for a single man to stand in the breach. What things would you make a stand for?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Todays reading has a classic verse I could not pass by without showing you. Ezekiel once again pours judgement on Jerusalem and Israel. This time Ezekiel directs his charge at specific people groups.
23 And the word of the Lord came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her, You are a land that is not cleansed nor rained upon in the day of indignation. 25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured human lives; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. (Eze 22.23-25)
These are clearly not prophets sent by God. Rather false prophets hoping to please the people with what they want to hear. Their ministry has had disastrous effects on the people, hence the imagery of tearing, devouring, plundering and murder.
26 Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they taught the difference between the unclean and the clean, and they have disregarded my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. (Eze 22.26)
The priests are no better. Ezekiel lists a number of laws which the priests as teachers of the law should have passed on to the people. They haven’t, and in doing so have dirtied the name of the LORD.
27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, shedding blood, destroying lives to get dishonest gain. 28 And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken. (Eze 22.27-28)
The princes are the rulers and elders of the people. Again, graphic imagery depicting the way they treat the people they are meant to be caring for.
29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the sojourner without justice. (Eze 22.29)
The general populace remain and they are no better. Stealing, lying and deceit.
30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.” (Eze 22.30-31)
The LORD calls for people who will take a stand against sin.
Is the LORD calling you to stand in the breach?
But of the prophets, priests, princes and the people none could be found who would stand up and lead the people to the LORD. If there are none, the people will die.
Story of Israel
Throughout Israel and Judah’s history there were people who stood in the breach. The LORD raised up prophets and some kings who were faithful to the LORD’s calling. Ezekiel in this passage refers to numbers of people – prophets (lots of prophets), priests (lots of priests) and princes (lots of leaders). Leading the people in godliness involves the work of many people. Unfortunately, they collectively failed and were thus punished for it (conquered, exiled, etc).
At the end of the passage the LORD looks for a single man to stand in the breach. He finds none.
Story of Jesus
Many years later, the apostle John had a similar vision. However in his case someone came.
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Rev 5.1-5)
Jesus stood in the breach. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David.
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