“So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord,” (13:14).
There is an image presented in today’s reading pointing to preparation for battle. Walls around cities were crucial in the battle strategy, built around cities to fortify and protect against the enemy. Walls had two major functions: defensively, keep the enemy out, and offensively, provide the range of vision needed to see approaching danger to launch the first attack.
But when walls were broken and in disrepair, the city became vulnerable and open to attack. And what could be worse? Well, actually, worse yet would be walls constructed with inadequate and defective materials. For such a structure, the only possible repair would be to demolish it completely and rebuild the wall from scratch.
And in this battle scenario, it is the people against God. And their flimsy walls, foolishly built by the musings and imaginations of their false prophets, didn’t stand a chance.
Thus says the Lord God, “Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. 4 O Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. 5 You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord,” (13:3-5).
And God had spoken,
“So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash…” (13:14).
As I looked up definitions in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, of the words that God had spoken, I couldn’t help but be reminded of something I often hear my husband say, “You can put makeup on a pig; but it’s still a pig.” And a Whitewashed Wall is still a Whitewashed Wall; and Whitewash can never conceal what it is.
Whitewash: 8602. תָּפֵל tāp̱ēl:
I. An adjective meaning foolish, tasteless… Used to describe oracles, it takes on the sense of useless, misleading, even foolish (Lam. 2:14).
II. A masculine noun indicating whitewash. It refers to a cheap and deceptive paintlike liquid used to whiten and cover over the outside of unsightly walls (Ezek. 13:10). In its immediate context, it indicates the whitewash representing the misleading message of peace put forth by the prophets (Ezek. 13:10, 14, 15; 22:28).
III. A masculine noun referring to untempered mortar. It refers to the lack of a process wherein mortar is both strengthened and beautified by giving it the proper hardness, smoothness, and consistency (kjv, Ezek. 13:10, 11, 14, 15; 22:28).
Plaster: 2902. טוּחַ ṭûaḥ, טָחַח ṭāḥaḥ:
I. A verb referring to daubing, plastering over, to overlay. It indicates covering or overlaying various things with different materials… It is used metaphorically of plastering over the walls of Jerusalem to hide its sin and corruption (Ezek. 13:10–12, 15). It is a figurative expression of the soothing messages from false prophets (Ezek. 22:28).
God’s people had foolishly attempted to build their own protection with a misleading and feckless message overlaid with the corruption and deceptive lies of the false prophets. But God’s message would lead them straight to the Truth, He Will Tear Down Every Whitewashed Wall.
Consider Him Who Will Tear Down Every Whitewashed Wall
- He Will Tear Down Every Wall that is Whitewashed with falsehoods and lies.
- Therefore, thus says the Lord God, “Because you have spoken falsehood and seen a lie, therefore behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord God, (13:8).
- He Will Tear Down Every Wall that is Whitewashed with false visions and lies against God.
- “So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations,” (13:9).
- He Will Tear Down Every Wall that is Whitewashed to dishearten and grieve the righteous.
- “Because you disheartened the righteous with falsehood when I did not cause him grief…” (13:22).
- He Will Tear Down Every Wall that is Whitewashed to encourage the wicked in his wicked way
- “…but have encouraged the wicked not to turn from his wicked way and preserve his life,” (13:22).
- He Will Tear Down Every Wall that is Whitewashed by the lies of false prophets, that all will Know He is the Lord.
- “…They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord God,” (13:9).
- “So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation is laid bare; and when it falls, you will be consumed in its midst. And you will know that I am the Lord,” (13:14).
- “I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, and they will no longer be in your hands to be hunted; and you will know that I am the Lord,” (13:21).
- “therefore, you women will no longer see false visions or practice divination, and I will deliver My people out of your hand. Thus you will know that I am the Lord,” (13:23).
How foolish to believe in what defies His Truth, for He Will Tear Down Every Whitewashed Wall and He Will Be Known as Lord.
How do we respond to Him Who Will Tear Down Every Whitewashed Wall?
Our culture today has become quite adept at constructing Whitewashed Walls. Sadly, even messages from many pulpits cover over sin with messages meant to soothe the ears of listeners.
But Every Whitewashed Wall He Will Tear Down, and those who are counting on a feel-good gospel that Whitewashes the reality of a Holy God Who will judge sin, a gospel that Whitewashes the reality of hell, a gospel that Whitewashes the Truth with the palatable message that all roads lead to heaven, those who prefer to listen to the precepts of man rather than turn their ears to His Truth, will see Every Whitewashed Wall Torn Down.
“So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord God. 10 It is definitely because they have misled My people by saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace. And when anyone builds a wall, behold, they plaster it over with whitewash; 11 so tell those who plaster it over with whitewash, that it will fall. A flooding rain will come, and you, O hailstones, will fall; and a violent wind will break out,” (13:9-11).
We must hear what He is saying. There is no protection in a wall built by philosophy and ideologies, by human wisdom and reasoning that purports a message contrary to His Gospel. And when that wall falls, people will be left without a solution to their desperate situation.
“Behold, when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the plaster with which you plastered it?’” (13:12).
For the Bible clearly teaches that apart from Christ we are counted as hostile enemies toward God, with minds set on the flesh constructing our Whitewashed Walls in rebellion to His Truth.
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, (Romans 8:7).
If we have constructed our belief system with inadequate and defective materials that come from our own finite understanding, the only possible repair is to demolish it completely and rebuild the wall from scratch. And in effect, that is exactly what happens when we place our faith in Christ. He Tears Down Every Whitewashed Wall to create His new creation.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
But the day is coming when every person who rejects His Truth, using their own effort and insight as the mortar to hold their own Whitewashed Wall of protection in place, will watch it all crumble before their eyes. And then it will absolutely be too late.
“Thus I will spend My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it over with whitewash; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is gone and its plasterers are gone, 16 along with the prophets of Israel who prophesy to Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ declares the Lord God,” (13:15-16).
Our only hope is that we build our lives according to the Truth of His Word and place our faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).
And as born-again believers, we must pay careful attention to who we listen to. Let us be like those from Berea, who heard the preaching of Paul and Silas and then went straight to the Scriptures every day to examine the accuracy of what they had heard, making sure they were not giving allegiance to any Whitewashed Walls.
The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so, (Acts 17:10-11).
Oh Lord, please give us an understanding of the absolute importance of Your Word and the absolute imperative to know and guard Truth.
Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you, (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
Lord, we pray that You lead us to examine our hearts before You and show us if we are trusting in any Whitewashed Walls that we know You Will Tear Down.
“So I will tear down the wall which you plastered over with whitewash and bring it down to the ground…” (13:14).
Father, we thank You that You gave us Your Holy Word in writing that we would know Truth. Please Father, grant us eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to obey that we would build our lives on Your Truth, confident that You will build us up, never to Tear us Down.
For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down, (2 Corinthians 13:10).