Lying Prophets and Prophetesses (Ezekiel 13-15)

Scripture reading – Ezekiel 13-15

We continue our study of the prophecies of Ezekiel reminding you that he was of a priestly lineage, called to be God’s prophet, and was numbered among the Jews who were captives in Babylon.

The LORD had charged Ezekiel with the task of delivering a prophecy of woes and judgments against Judah and foretelling the fall of Jerusalem. Though God commanded Ezekiel, “prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man” (11:4), the people would not repent. Today’s devotional will be taken from Ezekiel 13.

Ezekiel 13 – False Prophets Condemned

The LORD commanded Ezekiel, “prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy…out of their own hearts” (13:2). These were false prophets who, while proposing to speak the word of the LORD, were in fact prophesying things that arose from their own hearts and thoughts (13:2-3). Rather than warning the people that God’s judgment was imminent, they led the people to continue in their sins (13:4-5). They were liars and God commanded Ezekiel to warn the false prophets, “I am against you” (13:8).

Ezekiel 13:10-16 paints an interesting parable of a flawed wall that represented the sinful lives of the people. According to the parable, the lies of the prophets covered the sins of the people in the same way a shady builder might plaster over and whitewash the construction flaws of a wall (13:10). Of course, a poorly constructed wall will not endure a great storm and the flaws of the wall will inevitably be exposed by its failure (13:12).

The same would be true of the sinful people who believed the lies of the false prophets, and were convinced their sins (the spiritual flaws that the false prophets lies had excused and concealed) would not be revealed under the scrutiny of God’s judgment. The LORD warned the people through His prophet, “So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed (i.e. plastered) with untampered morter (whitewashed)…Thus will I accomplish (and satisfy) my wrath” (13:14-15).

There were also women in the land whom Ezekiel was commanded to condemn because they projected themselves to be prophetesses, but like the false prophets, they prophesied “out of their own heart” (13:17-23).

Lying prophets and prophetesses pretended to be the LORD’s prophets, and were readily received by the people. They prophesied “visions of peace” for Jerusalem, but the LORD God had said, “there is no peace” (13:16). Like whitewash on a substandard wall, the lies of the prophets covered a tragic reality:

The people had sinned greatly against the LORD and His wrath would not be appeased.

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith