“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel.” What was the problem with so many of those among God’s people who claimed to be ambassadors for the Almighty? They spoke “from their own hearts” and followed “their own spirit” though they had no true visions from the Lord.
In the days just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem many teachers who claimed to be sent from God gave dangerous directives to those who listened to them. In particular, they spoke words of shalom “when there is no peace.” Jehovah compared them to a wall that could not bear any weight though it had an impressive coat of paint that made it look very strong. It would soon fall, though people “smear it with whitewash.” The Lord Himself would “break down the wall.” In a very short period of time it would be plain that these presumptuous men were not reliable guides for the nation.
A second group of people were inflicting spiritual damage upon the Lord’s children. There were those “who sew magic bands upon all wrists and make veils for the heads of persons.” These women claimed that their religious crafts would bring their customers good fortune. The trinkets that they made were not of any good use to those who wore these charms. Such occult practices were actually a “hunt for souls” among the ignorant and vulnerable who were willing to pay for false assurance.
God was plainly against the lying men and women described in Ezekiel 13. They spoke happy words to people who needed to be afraid of the Lord’s discipline, and they also “disheartened the righteous falsely.” The Lord would bring His judgment speedily upon those who were pretending to be His allies but were only inflicting damage upon suffering human beings who were desperate for good news.
The Lord has always reigned over His people. He called to account any who presumed to speak for Him or who introduced strange ceremonies promising to bring cheap peace to the wicked.
Our New Testament Savior who died for our sins retains all authority over those who would claim to be His ambassadors. We have no right to invent a new gospel message or to give eternal comfort to those who will not repent and believe. Jesus is the only King of the kingdom. The gospel message that we must proclaim is the one recorded for us in the Scriptures.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father, what shall become of foolish messengers who follow their own spirits? They claim to speak for You, but they do not bring forth the truth of Your Word. We thank You for the Scriptures. Help us to proclaim Your truth according to Your will. Grant that Your ministers would teach the full breadth of Your whole counsel. There is a day of reckoning coming. We know that judgment begins with Your church. Bring down the whitewashed walls that we have built, prophesying messages that we invented ourselves. Take away from us all our idolatrous and foolish magic charms that are of no use to us for any real spiritual growth. Turn us from every evil way, for You are the Lord.