“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. So now I will pour out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my anger. I will heap on their heads the full penalty of all their sins. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
The wall of righteousness spoken of here is not made of stones but of faithful people united in their efforts to resist evil. This wall was in disrepair because there was no one who could lead the people back to God. The feeble attempts to repair the gap—through religious rituals or messages based on opinion rather than God’s will—were as worthless as whitewash, only covering the real problems. What the people really needed was total spiritual reconstruction!
When we make a show of loving God without living his way, we are covering up sins that could eventually damage us deeply. And if we fail to do the things God has asked us to do, like feeding the poor and defending the helpless, we are just as guilty.
Don’t use religion as a whitewash. Repair your life by listening to God’s Spirit and God’s Word. Then you can join with others to “stand in the gap” and make a difference for God in the world.