So, I have been spending time in the Word [and in my heart] to see exactly what God has to say about His enemy, and to see if I need to go before Him seeking repentance and reconciliation. The first thing I needed to do was to find out what God thought about Satan, and there is no clearer picture than Ezekiel 28. The Book of Ezekiel begins with God telling the prophet to speak to "the prince of Tyre".
Before we can begin to explore what God revealed through his prophet, Ezekiel, we need to know about the city of Tyre, and to whom God was speaking. According to my research, the ancient city of Tyre is located along the coast of Phoenicia in what is now modern Lebanon. The site has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The city became a prominent Phoenician city-state between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, settling prestigious colonies around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Carthage and Leptis Magna.
Furthermore, the biblical city of Tyre and the modern city of Tyre are the same. It is 50 miles south of Lebanon's capital city, Beirut. From a Biblical perspective, Tyre is about 105 miles north of Jerusalem. Tyre was known for their wickedness and idolatry and many prophets predicted doom upon the city-state. According to history, it was Alexander the Great who later conquered Tyre. In the New Testament, Jesus mentioned Tyre as an example of a city that refused to repent, as evidenced in Luke 10:13 ... Woe (judgment is coming) to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented and changed their minds long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes [to show deep regret for sin].
But God wants Ezekiel to speak to the prince of Tyre. And here's where the Scripture makes the connection to Satan. Holy Spirit made it clear that God is not only speaking about a human prince, but also to a "spiritual prince" [as referenced by Paul in Ephesians 6:12... our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.
Remember when Daniel prayed to YHWH while in captivity in Babylon? The Bible tells us that it took 21 days for the Angel Gabriel to answer Daniel's call. Why so long? Gabriel tells him that he was held up for 21 days by "the prince of the kingdom of Persia". This prince was one of Satan's high-ranking angels from the kingdom of darkness, sent to work in this realm to stall Daniel's purpose for the Kingdom of God. We need to see that Satan can send his demonic messengers to influence human men in their roles on the earth, so that they identify with Satan, and then act in their human capabilities, representing his evil desires. So, the prince of Tyre is a human leader influenced by Satan's "princely" angel assigned to the city of Tyre. It is to this human leader [influenced by Satan] whom God begins to speak to [through Ezekiel] in verse 2.
The entire chapter of Ezekiel 28 identifies the beings to whom God is speaking. In Part One of this two-part post, we will take a look at the first being God addresses, the satanically influenced human leader of Tyre; the human being who is behind the wickedness and idolatry demonstrated by the city Tyre. It is my intent to identify him by God's own description of him and then to highlight the spiritual characteristics that not only identify him and his followers, but differentiate them from Christ's qualities, of which we should be equated.
In verse two, God accuses this human leader of having a heart that elevates himself. He actually tells him, "You have said you're a god, sitting in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas". Here, the seas represent humanity; and this leader is declaring that he is centered in the midst of humanity; he is at the heart of humanity. Yet, what does God tell him? He is [only] a man [weak, feeble, made of the earth], and is most certainly not God. Furthermore, this human leader imagines himself to be more than mortal, and thinks himself as wise as God; to be wiser than Daniel; that no secret on the earth is hidden from him. Then God acknowledges that by his wisdom and understanding, this leader has acquired riches and power; bringing gold and silver into his treasuries.
Then God says something that struck my spirit deeply... By your great wisdom and by your trade, you have increased your riches and power, and your heart is proud and arrogant because of your wealth. The King James Version says by your traffic ... The Hebrew word for "traffic" is rekullah, meaning "trade as in peddled merchandise". Are you beginning to get the picture? Yes, God is speaking to the ancient leaders of the wicked and idolatrous city/kingdom of Tyre. But the Bible is the living Word of God and speaks to us in our time, too. Can you recognize the Pride of our nation and leaders in what God speaks to Tyre? Are our nation's leaders not operating in this same proud and arrogant spirit, trading in human lives through sex trafficking, child pornography, and drugs? None of this trade would exist if US leaders truly wanted it eradicated. By default, they are complicit in its existence.
God goes on to tell ancient Tyre that there is a price that will be paid for their Pride. He will bring strangers upon them; "the most ruthless and violent of the nations". He warns that they will draw their swords against the beauty of Tyre's wisdom and defile their splendor. We are seeing that today in our homeland! The beauty of our physical land and the once magnificent qualities of our national identity are being squandered. God further warns that ancient Tyre will be brought down to the pit of destruction by these invaders, unable to still claim to be a god. He reminds Tyre that they are only men (made of earth) and not God; unable to save themselves from those that wound and profane them. "You will die the death of the uncircumcised [barbarian/pagans], by the hand of strangers, for I have spoken, says the Lord".
I ask you, can you see that the Pride and Arrogance of our once grand nation is on the verge of bringing us down to destruction? That strangers have been brought upon us, even as our leaders proclaim that we are still the "Greatest Nation on Earth"? Can we, with true humility, still say that? Or has our pride so corrupted us that we think that God will allow us to continue in our wicked "trade and trafficking", without calling us to account?
I believe God blessed this nation into existence; that we once represented everything good about men who followed the Lord -- the freedom to become who we were designed to be; to reap what we have righteously sown; to recognize, honor and worship the One who bestowed such riches upon this land. But I also believe that we have been guilty of taking it all for granted; that we thought we didn't need to protect those blessings because we began to think it would never end. Just like the human prince of Tyre, we began to worship ourselves and our abilities, thinking we were still honoring Him, even as we proclaimed that He was no longer needed in our schools or the halls of Congress. We began to become our own gods, thinking we were as wise as God, able to outthink Him and make our own plans. And now we are reaping what we have unrighteously sown.
God warned ancient Tyre that He was taking away His protection from them and removing their position of authority in the land. We may soon experience that in our own land. But even in the midst of that kind of invasion, we must remain true to who God created us to be. We have not been promised a rich and prosperous nation forever; to live in comfort and wealth. We have been promised eternal life by walking humbly with Him; giving Him glory [rather than ourselves]; and steadfastly remaining in faith, even in the midst of sorrows and persecution. That is the message of the first half of Ezekiel. In Part Two, we will take a look at the "spiritual" king of Tyre; who that might be and how his pride and arrogance will be his downfall.
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Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”