9/4/18 “Walls of Untempered Mortar” (Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 12-13)

“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, 'Peace!' when there is no peace--and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar-- say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, 'Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?' "(Ezekiel 13:10-12).

God had sent Ezekiel to prophesy to God’s people who have been carried away captive to Babylon (Ezekiel 1:1-3). Jerusalem had not yet fallen. Its city walls were still standing to protect it (cf. 2 Kings 25:8-10; 2 Chronicles 36:19). However, through Ezekiel, God warned the captives that the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians was imminent (Ezekiel 4:1-7:27).

Yet, false prophets began to arise saying quite a different message than Ezekiel. They were saying that peace was soon coming for God’s people. Of these false prophets, God says, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord. They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, “Thus says the Lord!” But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed’” (Ezekiel 13:3-6). God adds that these false prophets had spoken nonsense: “Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, 'The Lord says,' but I have not spoken.  Therefore, thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,’ says the Lord God. My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord God” (Ezekiel 13:7-9).

These false prophets were persuading God’s people to hope in their message of peace much like a city would hope in its city walls for protection from the enemy. However, as the opening verse above describe, trusting in the false prophet’s message was like trusting in city walls that had been erected with “untempered mortar”. What is untempered mortar? Untempered mortar means that the mortar which held the bricks of the city walls together had not been brought to a proper consistency and hardness when the wall had been erected. Such mortar would not harden correctly and keep the wall held together properly. It would not take much force before the wall came crumbling down.

It is common among men that we do not enjoy hearing bad news. In Ezekiel’s day, God’s people did not want to hear about how their beloved Jerusalem was going to be destroyed by the Babylonians because of Israel’s sin. God’s people were easily persuaded by false prophets who instead promised them peace. Though the message of peace sounded better to their ears, trusting in this false message was like trusting in walls constructed of untempered mortar. Today, I will strive to heed all of God’s Word because I want my spiritual life to be built upon the solid foundation of Christ!

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27).