Summary: Many people think they have peace but peace can be a coverup of the truth. True peace comes from God.
1. The situation was not a good one for the people of Israel. Many of them, including the prophet Ezekiel had already been carried off to exile in Babylon. The Babylonians had surrounded the city of Jerusalem and laid seige to it. The people were prisoners in their own city - they were trapped. It was war and they hoped so much for peace.
2. Jeremiah and Ezekiel both told people that Jerusalem would fall, but that was not the message people wanted to hear. They wanted message of peace not war.
3. They found prophets and prophetesses who promised them peace.
4. In our passage from Ezekiel we deal with these false prophets who were offering the message of peace to the people. Was it wrong for them to promise peace? After all, is peace not something we all seek - whether peace in world, with others, and within ourselves?
5. As we look at what was wrong with their message of peace, we will also see that the walls of Jerusalem are also symbolic of the false walls of hope they were bringing.
1. A prophet is supposed to proclaim the word of God, but as we read in vs. 2, they were prophesying out of their own imagination. The people were not following God, they created idols of their own making and failed to follow His laws. God told His prophets to tell the people that they were being punished so they would repent and turn to Him.
2. But the false prophets said that the people were OK - don’t worry. vs. 4 said they were like jackals among the ruins. These ruins were the ruined relationship they had with God. The rule of God over the nation and their lives had been rejected and soon the very capital of their nation would also be in ruins.
3. Like jackals they looked for whatever they could get out of the situation. Tell the people what they want to hear for (vs. 19) a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread.
4. By doing this they only increased their destruction, ruins, both their worship and their nation.
5. There were breaks in the wall - caused not just by the Babylonians but by themselves. Their covenant relationship with God was crumbling - as far as their part of the bargain went. They allowed their sin, rebelliousness and idolatry to break open the wall of God’s rule and His ways.
6. The prophets should have seen these breaches and confronted the people to repair them, to go back to God and repent and follow Him. They did not and because of that they would be judged.
7. The wall of hope would crumble. The peace, the security they thought they had would not last. Major work had to be done, but as Jeremiah said (see Jer 6:14)
8. The people had built a flimsy wall of hope. Not built upon a firm foundation - on God’s word. The wall offered false hope, but rather than expose the weakness of the wall, the false prophets covered it with whitewash. Heb - they covered it with plaster..
9. Rather than expose their sins, the breaches in the wall, they plastered it over with deceitful hypocrisy. They covered up the inward corruption by means of outward appearance.