By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, but your heart has grown proud because of it.
I. THE RANGE AND REALITY OF WORLDLY WISDOM. It has respect to earthly good, prescribing means by which health of body, riches and luxuries, worldly honor, etc., may be attained. It bounds its regards by the horizon of earth and time. It employs instrumentalities which experience approves as efficacious. It takes counsel of the prosperous and the honored. It pursues patiently and persistently aims which are mundane and which are within human reach, wasting no time (as it would say) upon ethereal sentiment, imaginary and ideal perfection, Utopian schemes.
II. THE FRUIT OF THIS WISDOM. The case of Tyre is to the point. The understanding and skill for which the Tyrian merchants and mariners were noted were not employed in vain. Success was their attestation and approval. Uncertainty is indeed distinctive of all human endeavor and undertaking. But a large measure of success may fairly be reckoned upon as likely to be secured by the use of means devised by the wisdom of this world. As a man soweth, so does he reap.
III. THE BOAST OF THIS WISDOM. Tyre claimed to be wiser than Daniel, and to be able to penetrate all secrets. There are those who would think it vulgar and contemptible to boast of their birth, their wealth, their honors, who, however, are not above boasting of their insight, sagacity, and prudence. They would never have fallen into errors which misled their neighbors! They would have known how to deal with such a person, how to contend with such difficulties, how to adapt themselves to such circumstances! Trust them to find their way, however intricate its windings!
IV. THE TRIAL OF THIS WISDOM. It is admitted that, in ordinary circumstances and times, worldly wisdom is sufficient to preserve a man and a nation from calamities, to secure to them many and real advantages. But every true student of human nature and human history is aware that times of exceptional probation and difficulty have to be encountered. It is so in the life of every man, it is so in the history of every people. The principles which served well enough before are useless now. The men of the world are at a loss, and know not whither to turn. The crisis has come: how shall it be met?
V. THE VANITY OF THIS WISDOM. Mere cleverness and fox-like keenness, mere experience upon the low level of expediency, are proved in times of trial to be altogether worthless. Deeply rooted convictions of Divine truth, and habits of reverential conformity to laws of Divine righteousness, "the fear of the Lord" (in the language of Scripture), - such are true wisdom. Anything short of this must issue in disappointment and powerlessness. Human expediencies may carry us a long way, but a point is reached where they fail, and where their worthlessness is made apparent. Such a point was reached in the history of Tyre, when it was found that wealth could not buy off the hostility of Babylon, and that mercenaries could not resist Babylonian arms or policy overcome Babylonian persistence.
VI. THE OVERTHROW AND CONFUSION OF THIS WISDOM. The language of the prophet upon this is singular and suggestive: "I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness." The wisdom in which the Tyrians trusted, and which excited the admiration of their neighbors and rivals, could not withstand the attack of Oriental soldiery and tactics. It was boasted in days of prosperity; but in the day of adversity its strength was small.
VII. THE DISCREDITING AND CONTEMPT OF THIS WISDOM. There are times when professions are accepted as valid and trustworthy; but there are also times when professions are of no avail, and when solid facts and realities alone will abide. As in the case of Tyre, the wisdom which is weighed in the balances and is found wanting is utterly discredited. Men despise what formerly they praised. Such is the fate to which the wisdom of the worldly wise is doomed. "It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent will I reject Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" - T.
By the iniquity of thy traffic.
(G. T. Forbes, M. A.).
PeopleDaniel, Ezekiel, Jacob, Zidon
PlacesSidon, Tigris-Euphrates Region, Tyre
TopicsAbundance, Grown, Hast, Heart, Increased, Lifted, Merchandise, Multiplied, Power, Proud, Riches, Riches-, Trade, Trading, Traffic, Traffick, Wealth, Wisdom
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 28:5
5033 knowledge, of good and evil
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.
Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
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