Blogging the Bible 215 – Ezekiel 22-26 – Standing in the breach

The people of the land have practised extortion and committed robbery; they have opposed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress. And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I find no one. (22:29-30)
Again today we have God’s pain at his betrayal by Israel and Judah portrayed in graphic, shocking imagery. Painful though it is to read, it’s good to be reminded how deeply and passionately God cares for his people. The image of God as a betrayed husband might give us a different perspective on the depth of his sorrow and anger. It also gives us a different insight into the height of his joy and delight when his people repent and return, so that the marriage can be restored. That still stands, both the pain and the joy.
There’s another strand today, picking up yesterday’s thoughts about our shared and our individual judgements. YHWH laments the lack of anyone who will stand up for justice against the exploitative economics of Israel’s society. The poor, the vulnerable and migrants suffer so that the comfortable can remain secure and so that the rich can be richer. If this feels all too familiar, do we dare to speak up for justice? Who knows – we may be the one person to stand before God in the breach of a crumbling wall and avert disaster for all around us. It’s got to be worth a try.

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