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“Where is the whitewash you gave us?”

January 10, 2011

In Ezekiel 13, 10-16, the country was divided.  Some people were captive in a foreign country and others waited in the homeland for peace and the return of prosperity. 

 A few leaders told them, peace is coming.  Peace will soon be made with the king of Babylon and all the captives will return.  Our country will once again be strong and rich.  The people were happy.  This is exactly what they wanted to hear.

The prophet Ezekiel, however, was not happy.  His words were a direct challenge to those in power.  “They should peace, when there is no peace.”  The words of the powerful, according to Ezekiel, were like a flimsy, unsteady wall built to keep the enemy out.  Other lesser leaders saw that the wall made people happy so they covered it with whitewash so that it looked beautiful and inspired confidence.  But when the rain and winds came, the wall simply collapsed because it had no substance.  Then the people shouted at the leaders, “Where is the whitewash you gave us?”

Some leaders of the world today shout peace when there is no peace.  They give people false hopes that things are improving.  Other leaders not only nod their heads in agreement, but strongly affirm these false hopes; and, with beautifully painted arguments we call whitewash, make that false peace look more plausible and probable.  In truth, however, their words are like putting a pile of loose stones or bricks together, and throwing some slushy whitewash upon them. When this promise of peace collapses and the whitewash runs into the gutter people will then ask, “what has become of all your promises of peace, and assurance of safety and prosperity; your smooth words and plausible arguments; your specious pretences, and flattering prophecies?

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