Wow! As we read the description of Tyre, we see a nation that seems to be the pinnacle of luxury, commercialism, commerce, goods shipped to and fro – all over the world! Repeatedly we read of how this place was “perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 27:3, 4, 11). It’s tragic to read that they even bartered human lives (slaves) (Ezekiel 27:13). The multicolored apparel in Ezekiel 27:24 reminds us of Joseph’s coat of many colors, a luxury in those days (Genesis 37:3). But just as Joseph was stripped of his tunic, so Tyre would be stripped, but for different reasons. Tyre was about to be judged by God and the watching world would mourn – all that “stuff” would no longer be available for them to purchase to posses or sell. This place that they saw as perfect and invincible would be destroyed…we read yesterday of Tyre’s judgment in Ezekiel 26, something that took place in 585 B.C., and later at the hands of Alexander the Great.
When I read this chapter I can’t help but think of the USA or Amazon – all the merchandise, luxury, and materialism – gone. I also think of Revelation 18 and God’s future judgment on commercial Babylon.
Pastor Chuck said this, “Revelation 18 parallels this passage. God will finally bring an end to the commercialism that has preyed upon the weakness of man. The sea captains will stand afar off at the destruction of commercial Babylon, wailing and weeping because they have been made rich by the merchandising. But it will be destroyed – just as the sailors wailed and wept here in Ezekiel 27.”
In Ezekiel 28 we have the judgment upon the prince of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:1-10, the judgment upon the devil who at one time was a cherub (Ezekiel 28:11-19), and the judgment upon of Sidon.
The prince or king (the word literally means “the man at the top,”) of Tyre at that time was Ethbaal III, who ruled from 591 B.C. to 572 B.C. He claimed to be a god. It’s despicable to see how success, position, and riches can lead to such pride…but God promises to humble the prideful! God would slay this king and his claim to deity would be proven as absolute foolishness.
What would move a person to such a view of themselves? Part of the answer is the devil. I believe behind many of the world rulers today is Satan himself, and that’s what we see in our text as Ezekiel subtly transitions into the fall of Satan. He was the seal of perfection, he was in the Garden of Eden, he was the anointed cherub on the holy mountain, he was perfect in all his ways – until – iniquity was found in him. Isaiah 14 also describes the fall of Satan (Lucifer) revealing the fact that he wanted to share the glory with God, even overthrow Him. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty – but who gave him that beauty? Who made him?
How is it that people don’t see this, who God is – our Maker and Maintainer? Blind pride, hard hearts, foolish minds…they lie under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19).
In Ezekiel 28:13 the prophet mentions the workmanship of their timbrels and pipes. Timbrels are tambourines, might the pipes be trumpets, or flutes? Some believe Satan may have been the worship leader in heaven, the gifted angelic musician. We can’t be certain, but it makes a lot of sense when you consider the way music has been used for such evil on planet earth, especially as we get closer to the end of time.
Sidon was 20 miles north of Tyre, and no doubt they were guilty of many of the same sins as her sister city. Her judgment would prove who the LORD was and would take away a people who irritated Israel like a brier or painful thorn.
When you study the life of Abraham, you’ll find that he was tested many times along the way. I believe the same will be true for you and me. Abraham wasn’t a perfect man (so there’s hope for us) but at the end of the day, when the truth was revealed, he honestly, wholeheartedly believed in the living God – he held tight to God’s promises. That’s the key to faith.
God’s command for Abraham to offer up his son is the only time in the Bible that God asked a man for a human sacrifice. Of course God didn’t allow Abraham to follow through with it, but He did test him, and what a test it was! This is the first time we find the word “love” in the Bible.
Genesis 22:2 (NKJV) “Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.’”
In Isaac ALL of the promises were wrapped and now God was asking him to offer him up? Yes, and Abraham was willing to do it, because He believed the promise, that through Isaac he would have innumerable descendants. Abraham believed the promise so much that he believed God would raise his son from the dead if necessary. Hmm, where else have we heard a story like this? In the cross of Jesus Christ. You see, this story of Abraham and Isaac is representative of what would happen 2,000 years later, when God the Father would actually offer up His Son on this same mountain. Yes, Mount Moriah is where Jesus died for our sins! Wow!
And the stories in the Hall of Faith continue…
By faith Isaac…by faith Jacob…by faith Joseph…by faith Joshua…by faith, even Rahab was saved!
By faith Moses’ parents placed their child in the hands of God, who raised him up to deliver Israel. Don’t you love the results and description of Moses’ faith?
Hebrews 11:24–25 (NKJV) “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”
What a picture that is of what needs to be done today, especially in the USA! God help us to choose to refuse the passing pleasures of sin!
You might remember the definition of sin as described in Hebrews 11:1, how “by faith we do the impossible, we see the invisible.” Moses endured as seeing the invisible, as if He was able to see God, and he did the impossible.
Hallelujah with my whole heart, the Psalmist cries out, Hallelujah!
This Psalm offers a variety of reasons we praise the LORD and reminds us to remember those reasons, and even study about the things that God has done.
Psalms 111:2 (NKJV) “The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them.”
Those of you reading this blog/commentary, may actually qualify as someone who studies the works of the Lord. I commend you, it means you have “pleasure,” in them (you love the Lord and His Word). I also believe these works go out into all God does, into all of His creation.
Warren Wiersbe, “Whether it is science or history, you are examining God’s works in this world. His works are great and glorious, revealing His power and wisdom. To see the creation but ignore the Creator is to move into idolatry and sin (Romans 1:18 and forward).”
As we ponder life and read the Bible we remember God’s works, His righteousness, His amazing grace, and the way He is FULL of compassion. The reason to worship ranges for appreciation from the way He feeds us (don’t you thoroughly appreciate food?) to the way He has saved us – now under the New Covenant (Psalm 111:5).
God gave Israel power over nations in certain seasons, and God gave Israel, and all of us the power of His Word (Psalm 111:7).
We have redemption by the blood of His Son (Psalm 111:9). This brings me to that place of fearing Him, in absolute awe; it puts within me a desire to obey God, my Redeemer, who is so good to us.
Psalm 111:10 (NKJV) “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.”
It all starts with the fear of God. He is awesome, and He is holy. He loves us, and if we get out of line, He will chasten us. Thank You Lord!
Amen and Hallelujah!
Proverbs 27:15-16 (NKJV) “A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike; 16 Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.”
Pastor Chuck Smith said, “It never stops, and it drives you crazy.”
A word to wives and a warning to young men choosing a wife – really a warning to all who are unmarried, for this contentious woman, can very easily be a contentious man. Sometimes people want to be married so bad, that they settle for someone who may for the rest of your life, UNsettle your soul.
Here we see it’s constant and impossible. Maybe she thinks her “dripping” or nagging will fix him – it won’t. Prayer, patience, and love are much more effective.
“Dripping water pictures the irritating nature of a quarrelsome wife (see also Proverbs 19:13). Like water dripping on a rainy day, she is annoying and never stops quarreling. She is as impossible to restrain as the wind. Trying to constrain her contentious spirit is as impossible as trying to pick up a handful of oil. She is both unsteady and slippery.” – Bible Knowledge Commentary
William Penn said, “Pray 1 hour before going to war, 2 hours before going to sea, and 3 hours before getting married.”
In closing, I don’t want to Undo anything the Holy Spirit is trying to say, but I do believe this can be a word to husbands as well. Maybe your wife is contentious because she’s not getting your love and attention. I’ve learned over the years, it takes two. Let’s do our best to do our part as husbands and wives and be willing to be “the first to change.”
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.