Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It's effective, but limited…

I would like to draw attention to another important dimension of the prophetic intercessory ministry that comes to expression through the metaphor of the “breached wall,” namely, the notion that the intercessor can only protect temporarily the breached covenant relationship. Just as the breach in the wall needs to be repaired to make the city a safe place in the long term, so intercessory prayer can only pacify divine anger temporarily. Persistent offense will eventually result in a divine prohibition to intercede and lead to severe punishment (e.g. Isa 58:10–12; Jer 15:1; Amos 7). In other words, in the long term the rebellious people need to return to Yhwh and recommit to the covenant stipulations to make the divine-human relationship whole again (cf. Deut 9:18–19, 25–29, 10:12–22). Understanding this dynamic confirms that the ministry of the prophet is essentially twofold: (1) “standing in the breach” in “defensive prayer” and (2) “repairing the breached wall” through calling a wayward people back to Yhwh and teaching the way of God (e.g., 1 Sam 12:23).—Standing in the Breach, pages 518–19

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