What is the significance of Ezekiel 22:29–31?

The Lord says he “sought for” someone to stand in the breech for Israel “but I found none.” Hence Israel experienced the wrath of God.

If everything that shall ever come to pass is eternally fixed in the divine mind, God would have foreknown that no one would respond to his call for a Moses-like person to stand in the breech before him. He thus could not have genuinely sought for someone and then could not have genuinely decried with disappointment, “I found none.” This episode provides a stark contrast to the many other episodes in Scripture in which God’s plan to bring judgment is reversed through the power of prayer (e.g. Exod. 32:14; Num. 11:1–2; 14:12–20; 16:20–35, 41–48; Deut. 9:13–14, 18–20, 25; Judg. 10:13–15; 2 Sam. 24:17–25; 1 Kings 21:27–29; 2 Kings 13:3–5; 20:1–7; 2 Chron. 12:5–8). This verse once again demonstrates how the urgency of prayer is intensified if the future is considered partly open.

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