And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
This feeling of superhuman elevation in the King of Tyre was fostered by the fact that the island on which Tyre stood was called "the holy island," being sacred to Hercules; so much so that the colonies looked up to Tyre, as the mother city of their religion as well as of their political existence.
A real king incorporates in himself all that is best and mightiest in the people. The aims, and enterprises, and ambitions, and spirit of the nation should find a place in his breast. He is a mirror, in which the life of the empire is reflected. Whether he leads or whether he follows the bent of the nation's will (and, in part, he will do both), he becomes the visible exponent of the nation's life. All that is good in the empire, and all that is evil, blossoms in him. Hence this message.
I. SUPERIOR WISDOM LEADS TO SUCCESS IN COMMERCE. "With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches." So far, no sin was committed. It is God's will that the rocks of earth should disclose their treasures of silver and gold. It is God's will that the nations of the earth should interchange their products. The wisdom requisite for enterprise and commerce God himself gives. "Say not in thine heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth; but thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for he it is who giveth thee power to get wealth." Far-reaching sagacity, careful plan, prudent thrift, and bold adventure bring stores of wealth. "The hand of the diligent maketh rich."
II. COMMERCIAL SUCCESS LEADS TO STATE MAGNIFICENCE. More or less in every human breast there is a hunger for dignity, luxury, magnificent display. As soon as means are forthcoming this hunger will satiate itself. Nor is it merely a matter of personal satisfaction. It lends importance to the man; it lends importance to the state; it impresses other people - other nations - with a sense of superiority. It obtains homage and deference from men, and this is delicious. How otherwise can wealth be expended? The king cannot consume more food, unless it be to his injury. Expenditure on dress soon reaches its utmost limit. Therefore wealth can find outlets only on palatial buildings, pompous equipages, and martial defenses.
III. STATE MAGNIFICENCE BREEDS A SPIRIT OF VAIN ASSUMPTION. The tendency of all material possession is to foster a feeling of self-importance. The adulation of others strengthens this feeling. Every addition of influence or power contributes to this inward vanity. In proportion to a king's poverty of mind will he over-estimate his importance. He looks upon his granite ramparts and upon his vast armaments, and imagines himself unconquerable. All other monarchs flatter him. He is easily cajoled into the belief that he possesses a clear superiority among men - yea, positive supremacy. He conceives that be is cast in a mould unlike that of mortals - that he is deathless and divine. He demands honors which belong to God alone. Instead of making his perilous position secure by the ramparts of God's friendship, he makes God an enemy.
IV. PROFANE ASSUMPTION IS DESTINED TO A TERRIBLE REVERSE. "Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers." A castle built without foundation is sure, sooner or later, to fall. In proportion to the loftiness of the erection will, in such a case, be the greatness of the catastrophe. Instead of being secure and permanent as God, he will find himself vulnerable as a man, frail as a flower at noonday. The spears of those he had despised will pierce his flesh as they would the flesh of another man; and when another king - the king of terrors - riding furiously on his pale horse, shall confront him, his heart will be the victim of such remorse and shame as other mortals have never known. Better far not to be lifted up than to be lifted up and then cast down. The momentum of a body falling from a dizzy height is terrible: what is the momentum of a lost soul?
V. GOD'S WORD IS MIGHTIER THAN ALL HUMAN RESOURCES. "I have spoken it, saith the Lord God." In the largest sense it is true that we cannot go against the word of the Lord. God's word is the forthputting of his thought, purpose, will. It is omnipotent resolve interpreted into speech. "He spake, and it was done." A word becomes a world. A breath of God sweeps the earth like a tornado. A promise is a ladder by which we can climb to the skies; it is a ship that will bear us away safely to the eternal haven. One word of God is a feast that will nourish the life of our soul for ages. It is a refuge in which we may securely hide. Jehovah's word is a rampart, from behind which we may calmly defy ten thousand foes. It is a wall of fire that never has been broken through. That word is more worth than all bankers' coffers - than all Californian mines. It is a title-deed to immortality and to heaven. - D.
Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus.
Who has not sometimes, standing on Brooklyn Bridge, and looking off on the forests of masts, or upon the fleets sailing back and forth upon the river, or at the great warehouses upon one side and the homes beautiful and happy upon the other — who has not sometimes called up in his imagination the picture of Ephesus or Athens or Corinth, where great ships once rode at anchor, whose old-time harbour is now a great morass? Who has not wondered whether the time may not come in some far future age when men shall come and look on the ruins of this great bridge and the ruins of this great city and the harbour filled up with its own filth, and will regret it as we regret the forgotten splendours of Mexico or of Central America? Decay is on all men's institutions. Persia, Babylon, Greece, Rome, Venice, Spain, all lived out their life as we are living ours, and all fell into their decay, their senility, and their grave. Are we to follow them? I do not know. But this I know: that behind all these institutions, behind all these governments and laws, there is an eternal law manifested and revealed. I know not how long this republic shall endure; but I know this, that behind all kingdoms and republics, in them and by them, is manifested the eternal kingdom of God; nay, the very governments that set themselves against that kingdom to break down and destroy it are speaking, whether they will or they will not, the word that endureth forever. "Tell me what lessons you have to teach us, O you nations of the past!" And Babylon lifts up her voice and says, "I have to teach you this: that any nation that puts its foot on the neck of prostrate humanity seals its death warrant and hastens to its own doom." And Greece says, "I have this to tell you: that no art, no philosophy, no culture, can save from death the nation that is immoral." And Rome says, "I have this to tell you: that no power of law will make a nation safe and strong if there be corruption eating out the heart of it." And Venice says, "I have this to say to you: that no nation is rich, though its fleets sail all seas, if it be poor in manhood." And Spain says, "I have this to say to you: that pride, for the nation as for the individual, cometh before a fall!" And then I wonder, as I look upon my own dear native land, whether she will learn these lessons writ so large in all the history of the past. Whether we are to illustrate by our own stupendous and awful ruin that, though a nation have power and culture and wealth and law and pride, it perishes without a God; or whether we shall rather teach this: that a nation whose kings are uncrowned kings, and who beckons from far across the sea the ignorant, the unlearned, and the incompetent, is strong and enduring, because it has enshrined God in its heart and has founded itself on that judgment and that justice which are the foundations of His throne. What the history of the future shall have for our dear land, who can tell? But whether this nation is born to teach a lesson by its folly or its wisdom, by its fidelity or by its infidelity, back of all these transitory and decaying nations stands writ the truth of Him who in national life is speaking, and whose word endureth forever.
H.W. Beecher strikingly compares the great heaps of wealth that some men pile up to the Pyramids of Egypt. There they stand, looking grand on the outside, but within they contain only the dust of kings. So with these fine appearing fortunes which have been heaped up in forgetfulness of God's service. They contain within only the dust of what might have been a kingly character.
PeopleDaniel, Ezekiel, Jacob, Zidon
PlacesSidon, Tigris-Euphrates Region, Tyre
Outline1. God's judgment upon the prince of Tyrus for his sacrilegious pride
11. A lamentation of his great glory corrupted by Sidon
20. The judgment of Zion
24. The restoration of Israel
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 28:1-2
Text: Philippians 2, 5-11. 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
The Doctrine of Satan.
I. HIS EXISTENCE AND PERSONALITY. 1. EXISTENCE. 2. PERSONALITY. II. HIS PLACE AND POWER. 1. A MIGHTY ANGEL. 2. PRINCE OF POWER OF THE AIR. 3. GOD OF THIS WORLD. 4. HEAD OF KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. 5. SOVEREIGN OVER DEATH. III. HIS CHARACTER. 1. ADVERSARY. 2. DIABOLOS. 3. WICKED ONE. 4. TEMPTER. IV. OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS SATAN. 1. LIMITED POWER OF SATAN. 2. RESIST HIM. V. HIS DESTINY. 1. A CONQUERED ENEMY. 2. UNDER ETERNAL CURSE. VI. DEMONS. THE DOCTRINE OF SATAN. Throughout the Scriptures Satan is set …
Rev. William Evans—The Great Doctrines of the Bible
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 We are now come to the last beatitude: Blessed are they which are persecuted . . '. Our Lord Christ would have us reckon the cost. Which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have enough to finish it?' (Luke 14:28). Religion will cost us the tears of repentance and the blood of persecution. But we see here a great encouragement that may …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
(Galilee on the Same Day as the Last Section.) ^A Matt. XII. 38-45; ^C Luke XI. 24-36. ^c 29 And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, ^a 38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. [Having been severely rebuked by Jesus, it is likely that the scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign that they might appear to the multitude more fair-minded and open to conviction than Jesus had represented them to be. Jesus had just wrought …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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