National Disaster Becomes a Public Lesson
Ezekiel 26:15-21
Thus said the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry…

The world of men is one, although nationalities are many. There is a thread of unity on which the separate jewels of humanity are strung. What affects one affects, in some measure, the whole.

I. THERE IS MUTUAL INTERDEPENDENCE OF NATIONS. Nations, like individuals, have been incarnations of selfishness. They have tried to aggrandize for self alone, but they have failed, and in most cases the failure has been a disaster. In respect to material property obtained through commerce, it is emphatically true that the prosperity must be shared by others. God will not allow any nation to retain every particle of its riches within itself. To be most prosperous, it must make others partakers of its wealth. The real welfare of one nation may be the welfare of all. Stable prosperity is diffusive.

II. MATERIAL PROSPERITY IS POWER. It brings position, honor, and extensive influence. The isles and lands with which Tyre traded held her in high repute. Many of the traders in other parts grew rich, gained powerful influence, became in their circles princes, and sat upon thrones. It is power, less potent than knowledge - power of an inferior sort - yet it is a perceptible power. It gives leisure for investigation and discovery. It can purchase stores of good. It can be converted into various forms of utility.

III. MATERIAL PROSPERITY KS VERY INSECURE. It often awakens the envy and the cupidity of others. It germinates pride in its possessor, and not pride only, but also arrogance and oppressiveness. In the natural course of things reaction appears. The oppressed classes combine and rise. Offence given to another nation in a spirit of overbearing arrogance awakens resentment, provokes vengeance. The wealthy nation is over-confident in its security and in its natural defenses. But a little shrewdness or contrivance undermines every natural defense, or else confidence in men disappoints, and in an hour the fancied security is dissipated.

IV. THE FALL OF ONE NATION IS A GRIEF TO MANY NATIONS. "They shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city!" Some selfish peoples would rejoice that a rival and a menace was overthrown. But others would be plunged into profound grief. Their traffic would be diminished, perhaps destroyed. Still worse, if Tyre, so mighty, so well-defended, be overthrown, what security have we? The downfall of Tyre shook the foundations of other empires, shook the hearts of many thoughtful men. It was evident that every kind of material defense was a broken reed.

V. TRUE LIFE IS THE ONLY TRUE GLORY. "I shall set glory in the land of the living." The only permanent life is a righteous life. Other life is ephemeral. This abides, this is eternal. Righteousness not only "exalts a nation," it consolidates and establishes it also. The" land of the living" is the empire of righteousness - the true holy land. The kingdom which is built on righteous principles is the kingdom of Christ. Every other kingdom has wood and hay and stubble intermixed with the gold and silver of sterling goodness. So far as righteous life prevails in any land on earth, so far will true and permanent glory abide there. All other foundations, all other defense, can and will be shaken. - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?

WEB: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Tyre: shall not the islands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when the slaughter is made in the midst of you?

Glory Departed
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