Ezekiel 22:23-31 (JDV)
Ezekiel 22:23 The word of Yahveh happened to me. This is what it said:
Ezekiel 22:24 “Son of Adam, say to her, ‘You are a land that has not been cleansed, that has not received rain in the day of curse.’
Ezekiel 22:25 The conspiracy of her prophets within her is like a roaring lion tearing its prey: they devour throats, seize wealth and valuables, and multiply the widows within her.
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests do violence to my instruction and profane my devoted things. They make no distinction between the devoted and the common, and they do not explain the difference between the clean and the unclean. They close their eyes to my Sabbaths, and I am polluted among them.
Ezekiel 22:27 “Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey, shedding blood, and destroying throats in order to make profit dishonestly.
Ezekiel 22:28 Her prophets plaster for them with whitewash by seeing false visions and lying lots, saying, ‘This is what the Lord Yahveh says,’ when Yahveh has not spoken.
Ezekiel 22:29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have oppressed the poor and needy and unlawfully exploited the resident alien.
Ezekiel 22:30 I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:31 So I have poured out my curse on them and consumed them with the fire of my fury. I have brought their conduct down on their own heads.” This is the declaration of the Lord Yahveh.
Our church has a very old parsonage, so things break down every once in a while. I don’t have to worry about finding a repair technician because we have members who have the expertise and are willing to help with repairs. They come to mind as I think about what the LORD was saying through Ezekiel in today’s text.
He was looking for someone who could make the necessary repairs. He first looked among the prophets. Surely those who spoke for God could find a way to protect the people from the coming wrath. But no prophet was found who could fix the hole.
Next, he looked among the priests. He couldn’t even find a priest who had not neglected the basics of religion.
Next, he searched among the officials. No ruler could be found who had the necessary skill to repair the damage in the wall.
Finally, he searched among the commoners — the hoi polloi. Still no repairman.
What a sad state we are in when things are broken and there is no one who can address the problem.
LORD, make us the kind of men and women who can stand in the gap, repair what needs to be fixed in the spiritual lives of people in our community.