Ezekiel’s Prophecies About Neighboring Nations

Read: Ezekiel 25-28

Jerusalem is destroyed, it’s splendor is lost, but it’s not alone. The reading today outlines many who are affected by the sweeping conquests of the Babylonians. Here’s a brief summary of those who mocked God’s chosen:

  • A Prophecy against Ammon Ezekiel 25:1–7: Because you said “Aha!” over my sanctuary when it was desecrated…
  • A Prophecy against Moab Ezekiel 25:8–11:  Because Moab and Seir said, “Look, Judah has become like all the other nations…”
  • A Prophecy against Edom Ezekiel 25:12–14: Because Edom took revenge on Judah and became very guilty by doing so…
  • A Prophecy against Philistia Ezekiel 25:15–17: Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah…
  • A Prophecy against Tyre Ezekiel 26:1–28:19: because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,’
  • A Prophecy against Sidon Ezekiel 28:20–24: set your face against Sidon; prophesy against her…

A great deal of text is devoted to Tyre, it’s great status and mighty fall. King Hiram was a great customer of King Solomon in his day. The result of this relationship was Jerusalem’s temple and Solomon’s palace and, by the way, Tyre’s great wealth! It was a mighty force to be reckoned with in it’s time.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Tyre: Will not the coastlands tremble at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan and the slaughter takes place in you? Ezekiel 26:15

How the great will fall, even those who seem to be beyond the negative influence of surrounding nations.

“‘How you are destroyed, city of renown,
peopled by men of the sea!
You were a power on the seas,
you and your citizens;
you put your terror
on all who lived there.
Now the coastlands tremble
on the day of your fall;
the islands in the sea
are terrified at your collapse.’
Ezekiel 26:17-18

No, Tyre, you will not escape: “I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezekiel 26:21).

Chapter 27 provides a lament for Tyre, it outlines the many nations that traded with Tyre to make it a wealthy nation and a force that seemed impenetrable, and yet…

Your wealth, merchandise and wares,
your mariners, sailors and shipwrights,
your merchants and all your soldiers,
and everyone else on board
will sink into the heart of the sea
on the day of your shipwreck.
Ezekiel 27:27

So the city of Tyre will be left in ruins. As for the king of Tyre, for his ego, fame and fortune:

“Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre,
‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘In the pride of your heart
you say, “I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas.”
But you are a mere mortal and not a god,
though you think you are as wise as a god.
Ezekiel 28:2

Here’s the warning that is relevant even today:

Your heart became proud
on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth;
I made a spectacle of you before kings.
Ezekiel 28:17

God’s Promise — In the End

“When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob.
They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.” Ezekiel 28:25-26

“They” in this case is only a small portion of “they” who inherited The Promised Land. Because of their great sins, most, nearly all, would not see the wonder of what God had in mind for them.

Lessons to be learned from history. For those who are convinced they are unsinkable, whose egos have outgrown their present reality, disaster is around the corner. The Creator we serve will not be mocked, yet many will stand and tell us we are fools to believe in One God, One Way, One Jesus.

Lord, help us to stand when others turn their backs, to follow when many depart, to be faithful when there is no outward sign to see.

Thoughts about serving others

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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