God's Law—A Protecting Wall
The chief symbol of God's law seems to be that of a wall, and it is used extensively throughout the Old Testament. Isaiah dramatically represented disobedience to the law as a break in the wall. "This is a rebellious people ... children that will not hear the law of the Lord .. .Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall" (Isaiah 30:9-13).
Follow closely now as we allow other inspired writers to enlarge upon this basic concept of the breached wall. Ezekiel indicated that some transgressors of the law would try to cover their act of sin by smoothing over the break in the wall. Unfortunately, they would substitute some weak, counterfeit material to make the wall look good but which would not prove to be acceptable at all. "Woe unto the foolish prophets.. .Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge . . . and one built up a wall, and lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar" (Ezekiel 13:3-10).
Here God rebukes the spiritual leaders for not making up the gaps and breaches in the wall. As the watchmen on the walls they were to be the very first ones to notice any weakness and to warn of the break immediately and make restoration of the defenses. In this case, not only were the priests not making proper repair of the breach but were condoning a dangerous substitute of weak materials which God could not approve. The untempered mortar represents an effort to gloss over the seriousness of the defect by false teaching instead of leading the people back to full obedience. Repeatedly God had to warn the priests against weakening the authority of His law. Malachi warned the priests: "Ye have caused many to stumble at the law ... ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law" (Malachi 2:8-9). It was such an attitude that caused God to rebuke them for daubing the wall with untempered mortar.
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