Ezekiel 27-28
(No Miracle Catch for This Tyre)
September 2nd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall settle on their own soil that I gave to my servant Jacob. They shall live in safety in it, and shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall live in safety, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God.

- Ezekiel 28:25-26 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

Chapter 27 and 28 continue with statements about other nations, but focuses mostly on Tyre. Chapter 27 begins with a song from the LORD about Tyre, describing her as if she was a beautiful ship, built from the best materials and staffed by the most skilled men. He lists all of the nations that came to Tyre to barter for their merchandise, including Israel and Judah. In this list the LORD describes the vast range of products that these nations deliver to Tyre. It’s all compliments and praise – until verse 26.

Chapter 28 shifts emphasis and puts the spotlight on the king of Tyre. The LORD rebukes this king for claiming to be a god. The king thought he was wise because he accumulated great wealth, but he will die by the sword of foreigners. “ ‘will you then say, ‘I am a god,’ in the hands of those who kill you’ (28:9 - NIV)?”

The LORD addresses the king one more time, but in a symbolic way, saying that he was perfect when he was in Eden, and was adorned with precious jewelry. Then he sinned, was expelled to earth where he desecrated the LORD’s sanctuary. As a consequence, he was consumed in the fire. The LORD repeats the closing statement from chapter 27: “ ‘ you have come to a horrible end and will be no more’(Eze 28:19 - NIV).”

The final set of verses in chapter 28 is a brief prophecy against Sidon, which was a small protégée of Tyre. The LORD closes this chapter by explaining that he is ridding Israel of all the “malicious neighbors” and will gather together once again the descendents of Jacob, who will live in safety and prosperity and will know that he is “ ‘ the LORD their God’ (Eze 28:26 - NIV).”

Reflection and Application

One of the problems with Tyre is that it was focused on building up wealth and not building up God. All of that wealth became worthless when it was lost in the sea. Apparently, the nation had been so successful that the king thought of himself as a god, and perhaps made that statement publicly. A successful person in God’s eyes is not measured by worldly wealth and worship of the almighty dollar but by proper worship and devotion to God Almighty.

A successful nation is measured in the same way in God’s eyes. The value of our relationship with God cannot be lost in the sea or destroyed by any earthly force. If we accept the LORD’s embrace then this relationship will be eternal.

How do we measure success? There used to be an advertisement for a Wall Street firm named Dean Witter that asked this question, and then answered, “One investor at a time.” Dean Witter went so far as to trademark that response. If we want to be God-centered, we might answer that same question “one forgiven soul at a time.” We can’t measure our success by the number of times we go to church or how many bible verses we read each day, or the length of our prayers, or the number of people we served – although these are all good habits. We can’t measure success by the number of souls we save, because we are not the saviors – only God can save a soul. Our role is to listen, spread the good news, forgive, and serve. We succeed by accepting God’s offer for his grace and salvation, then acknowledging our sins, accepting his forgiveness, and forgiving others as we have been forgiven.

The section that references the Garden of Eden and expulsion to Earth might be difficult to interpret. Was God addressing all of manhood, with the king of Tyre as our representative fallen one? Was he addressing Satan, who was expelled from heaven and had influenced the king in the wrong way? In either case, it appears that God is reminding us that we were created in perfection and are tempted to fall, but have an opportunity to repent.

There are specific locations that are referred to as God’s sanctuaries on earth where we can worship him – but in fact, we can consider the whole of earth to be his sanctuary, because we can pray to him and receive answers from any location - as in the first chapter of Ezekiel. If we make proper use of God’s sanctuaries (the buildings and the planet), then we can accept his grace, be saved, and return to the garden when our days on earth are done. Like the people of Israel who were gathered together, we will have an opportunity to live safely, prosper, and worship.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. Have you ever lost any of your merchandise in the sea or other large bodies of water?
    2. Where are your favorite places to pray?
    3. How can we focus on building up God and not building up wealth?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven we know you measure success differently then we do, help us to see it your way.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Investment Bankers, Stock Brokers, and others who work in the financial markets

    Looking Ahead
    Tomorrow's reading: Ezekiel 29-32 (The Cattle Will Not Be Coming Home)

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