I was reading my Bible one morning when I noticed a passage from Ezekiel 13:10-15 in which the prophet spoke of “untempered morter.”
“Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it, Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it…”
By definition untempered mortar is a mortar that is not completely mixed, not prepared properly, durable for use, or is strong. It occurred to me that Christian people are often like untempered mortar; we go to church, look like Christians, talk like Christians, but simply aren’t what we appear to be.
Intrigued by the passage, I decided to research the ingredients that make up today’s mortar. The first is CEMENT.
Cement provides strength for the mortar.
I believe the cement represents the Word of God. To have properly tempered mortar we need to believe that we truly hold the Word of God in our hands. Do we?
Only through the cement of the word of God will our mortar be strong. From the Word we get wisdom. Proverbs 4:7, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Wisdom is essential to a strong Christian foundation. Without God’s divine wisdom our lives would crumble.
The second ingredient is LIME.
Lime gives smoothness and flexibility to the mortar. Lime allows the mortar to be soft and supple, not stiff, thus making it an easier material with which to work.
Lime represents understanding and discretion, those ingredients needed to foster great relationships. Does our spirit and attitude draw others to Christ or does it push them away? Do we see people as individuals or as a means to success? Do we get along with others in Christian work? In everyday life? Within the family?
The third ingredient is SAND.
Coarse sand that is free of impurities produces the strongest, most stable mortar.
The sand represents our convictions. A conviction is a Bible-based belief. What do we really believe? If it is true that we only truly believe that which moves us to action, then what do we really believe?
Do we believe the Bible is the Word of God? Do we believe the blood of Christ is essential to salvation? Do we believe our Savior was born of a virgin? Do we believe in the sinless life of Jesus Christ? Do we believe Jesus Christ took our place and paid the debt for all our sin? Do we believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Do we believe it is truly salvation by grace through faith? Do we believe people who die without Christ go to an eternal hell and people who trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ go to heaven? Do we believe that marriage is until death parts us? Do we believe in integrity and honesty?
The sand of conviction makes the mortar stable.
The last ingredient is WATER.
Water provides the moisture needed to make the mortar spreadable. Water also causes the mortar to set. Purified hot water works best for mixing.
The water represents the Holy Spirit. If we empty our vessel of impurities and ask for God to fill us with His Holy Spirit, all of the ingredients will mix well to cause us to become strong and stable Christians. The Holy Spirit’s power is available to all born-again believers. In Luke 11 we see that God wants us to have his power. All we have to do is ask.
As I reflected on all of the afore-mentioned similarities, several questions came to mind:
- Do we as Christians have all the right ingredients?
- Are the ingredients balanced and proportioned correctly?
- Are we truly prepared?
- Will we stand firm in the battle?
- Will we stand firm under pressure or will we crumble?
In the final analysis, we have to ask ourselves, are we untempered mortar?