In the book of Ezekiel, the Lord rebukes Jewish leaders for abandoning their role as spiritual shepherds over the nation. He says:

I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.
- Ezekiel 22:30

During a time of great moral failure and disbelief, God searched for a man who could build a wall of righteousness against the rising tide of evil, but could not find a single person to heed His call. This failure caused the downfall of the nation and demonstrated an important spiritual principle:

God not only punishes evil, He also punishes for failure to stand up to evil.

This principle is as true today as it was more than 2,500 years ago in Israel. There is no neutral ground when it comes to evil. "Live and let live" is not the motto or motivation for Christian action in this world.

A good example of this is found in the life and service of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German Theologian and part of that country's underground resistance against the Nazi regime that ruled his country during WWII. He began as a teacher and academic but when the Nazi party began its ascent he became more involved in the direct ministry to the people and the opposition to the evil that was Nazism.

On January 30th, 1933 he made a speech on the radio denouncing Hitler and warning the German people to not fall into the idolatrous cult of the Führer (leader), He was arrested in April of 1943 and, two years later, on April 9th, 1945 (less than one month before Germany surrendered) Dietrich Bonhoeffer was stripped naked and led to the central yard at the Flossenbürg concentration camp (in the region of Bavaria) and hanged. He was 39 years old.

His life's end fit exactly a quote from one of his most famous books entitled - The Cost of Discipleship. In it he wrote, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die."

Christians are God's "wall of righteousness" in the modern age. As that wall, we are not here to change the world but rather to:

  • Witness against the evil in the world
  • Shine the light on what is the good according to God's word
  • Make every effort to avoid participating in the evils we ourselves, witness against

Let's make sure that whether it be at school, at home, or at work, our wall of righteousness is standing firm.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe the person who has been a "wall of righteousness" for you in your life?
  2. On a scale of 0-10 (zero being totally immoral and ten being pleasing to God) where would you place your country?
  3. Why do people say things were better in the past? Were they really?
  4. If you were the leader of your country, what two things would you do (legally) to make your nation more pleasing to God?
  5. Judge yourself on the scale in question #2 and answer question #4 by listing 2 things to make your own life more pleasing to God.

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Barry Day,
Pulpit Minister,
San Diego - Canyon View Church of Christ