“The word of the Lord came to me: “Take note, son of man, the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for distant days; he is prophesying about the far future.’ Therefore say to them, “This is what the sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer! The word I speak will come to pass, declares the sovereign Lord.’”
“This is because they have led my people astray saying, “All is well,” when things are not well. When anyone builds a wall without mortar, they coat it with whitewash. Tell the ones who coat it with whitewash that it will fall. When there is a deluge of rain, hailstones will fall and a violent wind will break out. When the wall has collapsed, people will ask you, “Where is the whitewash you coated it with?”
The Israelites lived in a time of peace and prosperity. No war, no famine, no drought to worry about. They built houses, had children, farmed the land and bred their life stock. They did all the normal things that one would do in life. But all this time the Word of the Lord had been forgotten and pushed aside. They were pre-occupied with the good and comfortable life.
Ezekiel comes to the scene and prophesies their exile and destruction, yet they thought that it was the far future and didn’t concern them. They turned to the prophets who declared “all is well”; after all, who can deny that all is well? It certainly looks well. Anyone who thought otherwise was weird. Ezekiel was certainly weird, what in the word was he doing digging holes in the walls and packing up his stuff (Ezekiel 12:3-11)? Yet their doom was looming. What God had promised in the Law (Deuteronomy 30:15-20), He was sure to deliver.
This comfortable, peace-time mentality seeps in unknowingly. Our life is good, our needs are met, everything is at peace. There is a war going on in our backyard, right at our door step, yet we do not see. When someone brings it to our attention, we turn away and dismiss them. We find prophets, teachers and preacher who tell us that “all is well” and “Christ is coming, but not in our generation” (2 Peter 3:1-13)! The worst part of it all is that we lose the sense of urgency and gravity in God’s commands. We water His words down to our level of comfort and our pace of life.
Let’s rewrite the Great Commission and see what it looks like:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. If you have the time and money go and make disciples of the people in your backyard, bringing them to church in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to choose bits and pieces of Christianity that sound positive, fits the current culture and is tolerable from what I have given you options for. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age to give you great things like a big house, a nice car, a club membership and a rewarding career.”
Time to wake up, the world is at war and we stand at the frontline.
The need of the hour is global wartime mentality. I say “wartime” because life is war (1 Timothy 6:12; Ephesians 6:10ff; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). I say “global” because “the field is the world” (Matthew 13:38).