August 16
‘You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel,’ Ezekiel 13:5a
Bible reading: Ezekiel 22:23-31 (Go to the Bible passage)
Of course, these words of the Old Testament were spoken primarily to the people of Israel, but they also apply to us, for we are – actually - a Jewish sect, through God’s mercy included in the covenant of the promise (Ephesians 2:12,13). However, this word of Ezekiel is very topical. Also today many priests violate God’s law even though it is read aloud every Sunday. They do not distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean. A day of rest - to glorify God more than is possible on other days - does not exist anymore. Nevertheless it is preached, ‘This is what the Lord says!’ Yet not the Lord, but the own imagination has spoken (Ezekiel 13:2).
Despite this horrible behavior of those who yet call themselves God’s children, God still does not turn away from them. His eyes are searching, looking for someone who will stand before Him in the gap on behalf of the land so that He will not have to destroy it. Are there no more priests after God’s heart? Does He really search in vain? Then He will pour out His wrath on us and consume us with His fiery anger! Some people then say, 'Fortunately, not me.’ Perhaps God’s eyes rested on them for a moment, to see whether they would stand in the gap before Him, but among them too He did not find anyone useful.
But glory be to heaven, He did find someone. ‘Here I am, (…) I desire to do your will, my God’ (Psalm 40:8). What a blessing that Jesus did not think of Himself. Not for His own sake, but for our sake He came into the world, and on behalf of us, He stands in the gap before God.
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