Week of Monday, March 29 ­– Sunday, April 4
Whitewash – Man as a Defender

Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out.  And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ — Ezekiel 13:10-12 ESV
It’s been said that a fresh coat of paint can fix anything. That statement, of course, is made tongue-in-cheek. The only thing paint can do is to make something look better than it did. You wouldn’t buy a vehicle with a myriad of mechanical problems just because it has a new paint job. It might look good sitting on the lot or in your driveway. Family, friends, and neighbors might even admire it. But it would prove to be useless and even dangerous if you tried to use that car or truck to get you anywhere.

Spiritually speaking, this was the point the prophet Ezekiel was making. Instead of speaking from the transcendent truth of God’s Word, false prophets were speaking from their own imaginations. They were their own inspiration—they spoke and acted according to whatever “truth” they dreamed up that could get a hearing. Ezekiel said they were like a structurally unsound wall that had been plastered over and whitewashed to hide what was underneath. It looked good on the outside, but beneath, a catastrophic failure was waiting to happen when that wall inevitably fell.

In our culture today, people want to speak, choose, and live their own “truth.” Ever heard that? Oprah recently declared: “What I know for sure is that you feel real joy in direct proportion to how connected you are to living your truth.” And there are many other quotes like that being thrown out by modern day gurus. But as with the false prophets in Ezekiel’s day, proclaiming any “truth” other than God’s truth is like whitewash over a faulty wall that will come crashing down. It’s a superficial paint job, serving as a distraction to the dangers that exist underneath. It might look good, sound good, and feel good on the outside for a time, but the fake facade will eventually be revealed, and disaster will be the result.

As Defenders, it is our role as men to help guard our families and friends against deception. We all know where that deception ultimately comes from. The Lord Jesus called him out: “The devil… was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Sometimes his deception is tough to detect because as Paul puts it: “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Satan is like a slick but sinister car salesman trying to snare you with his jacked-up clunker sporting a shiny new paint job. Yet a true Defender will warn his family to look past the pretty “whitewash” on whatever deception the devil is trying to label as “truth,” kick him to the curb in the name of Jesus, and walk away.

  • Have you ever tried “living your own truth” and it led to trouble? Without glorifying the sin involved, share your experience with those in your charge as a way of warning them from doing something similar, pointing to God’s truth as the only truth.
  • With all the false messaging in our social media-driven culture, what are some steps you can take to be a better Defender of God’s truth as it applies to every area of life?
  • Ask God to help you pray with better understanding the last petition of our Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the Evil One.” Ask Him to reveal and avoid any “whitewashed walls” the devil is putting in front of your life and your family members.