Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel which would begin in the fifth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-eight through thirty of this Old Testament prophetic book. “Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the LORD God: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 26:1-6). “For thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: Thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into the city wherein is made a breach. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground” (Ezekiel 26:7-11). AND THEY SHALL MAKE A SPOIL OF THY RICHES, AND MAKE A PREY OF THY MERCHANDISE AND THEY SHALL BREAK DOWN THY WALLS, AND DESTROY THY PLEASANT HOUESS: AND THEY SHALL LAY THY STONES AND THY TIMBE AND THY DUST IN THE MIDST OF THE WATER! “I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard” (Ezekiel 26:13). SHALL NOT THE IDOLS SHAKE AT THE SOUND OF THY FALL, WHEN THE WOUNDED CRY, WHEN THE SLAUGHTER IS MADE IN THE MIDST OF THEE? THEN ALL THE PRINCES OF THES EA SHALL COME DOWN FROM THEIR THRONES, AND LAY AWAY THEIR ROBES, AND PUT OFF THEIR BROIDERED GARMENTS: THEY SHALL CLOTHE THEMSELVES WITH TREMBLING: THEY SHALL SIT UPON THE GROUND, AND SHALL TREMBLE AT EVERY MOMENT, AND BE ASTONISHED AT THEE! [FROM THRONES TO THE GROUND] “How art thou destroyed, that was inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it. Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure” (Ezekiel 26:17-18). “When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cites that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; when I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living” (Ezekiel 26:19-20).
THOU THAT ART STIUATE AT THE ENTRY OF THE SEA, WHICH ART A MERCHANT OF THE PEOPLE FOR MANY ISLES! O TYRUS, THOU HAST SAID, I AM OF PERFECT BEAUTY. THY BRODERS ARE IN THE MIDST OF THE SEAS, THY BUILDERS HAVE PERFECTED THY BEAUTY. THEY HAVE MADE ALL THY SHIPS BOARDS OF FIR TREES OF SENIR: THEY HAVE TAKEN CEDARS FROM LEBANON TO MAKE MASTS FOR THEE! OF THE OAKS OF BASHAN HAVE THEY MADE THINE OARS; THE COMPANY OF THE ASHURITES HAVE MADE THY BENHES OF IVORY, BROUGHT OUT OF THE ISLES OF CHITTIM! FINE LINEN WITH BROIDERED WORK FROM EGYPT WAS THAT WHICH THOU SPREADEST FORTH TO BE THY SAIL! BLUE AND PURPOSE FROM THE ISOLES OF ELISHAH WAS THAT WHICH COVERED THEE! TARSHISH WAS THY MERCHANT BY REASON OF THE MULTITUDE OF ALL KIND OF RICHES; WITH SILVER, IRON, TIN, AND LEAD, THEY TRADED IN THY FAIRS! JAVAN, TUBAL, AND MESHECH, THEY WERE THY MERCHANTS! THEY TRADED THE PERSONS OF MEN AND VESSELS OF BRASS IN THY MARKET! THEY OF THE HOUSE OF TOGARMAH TRADED IN THY FAIRS WITH HORSES AND HORSEMEN AND MULES! THE MEN OF DEDAN WERE THY MERCHANTS; MANY ISLES WERE THE MERCHANDISE OF THINE HAND! THEY BROUGHT THEE FOR A PRESENT HORNS OF IVORY AND EBONY! SYRIA WAS THY MERCHANT BY REASON OF THE MULTITUDE OF THE WARES OF THY MAKING! THEY OCCUPIED IN THY FAIRS WITH EMERALS, PURPOSE, AND BROIDERED WORK, AND FINE LINEN, AND CORAL, AND AGATE! JUDAH, AND THE LAND OF ISRAEL, THEY WERE THY MERCHANTS! THEY TRADED IN THY MARKET WHEAT OF MINNITH, AND PANNAG, AND HONEY, AND OIL, AND BALM! DAMASCUS WAS THY MERCHANT IN THE MULTITUDE OF THE WARES OF THY MAKING, FOR THE MULTITUDE OF ALL RICHES; IN THE WINE OF HELBON, AND WHITE WOOL! DAN ALSO AND JAVAN GOING AND FRO OCCUPIED THY FARIS: BRIGHT IRON, CASSIA, AND CALAMUS, WERE IN THY MARKET! DEDAN WAS THY MERCHANT IN PRECIOUS CLOTHES FOR CHARIOTS! ARABIA, AND ALL THE PRINCES OF KEDAR, THEY OCCUPIED WITH THEE IN LAMBS, AND RAMS, AND GOATS!
THY RICHES, AND THY FAIRS, THY MERCHANDISE, THY MARINERS AND THY PILOTS, THY CALKERS, AND THE OCCUPIERS OF THY MERDHANDISE, AND ALL THY COMPANY WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF THEE, SHALL FALL INTO THE MIDST OF THE SEAS IN THE DAY OF THY RUIN! THE SUBURBS SHALL SHAKE AT THE SOUND OF THE CRY OF THY PILOTS! AND ALL THAT HANDLE THE OAR, THE MARINERS, AND ALL THE PILOTS OF THE SEA, SHALL COME DOWN FROM THEIR SHIPS, THEY SHALL STAND UPON THE LAND! AND ALL SHALL CAUSE THEIR VOICE TO BE HEARD AGAINST THEE, AND SHALL CRY BITTERLY, AND SHALL CAST UP DUST UPON THEIR HEADS, THEY SHALL WALLOW THEMSELVES IN THE ASHES: AND THEY SHALL MAKE THEMSELVES UTTERLY BALD FOR THEE, AND GIRD THEM WITH SACKCLOTH, AND THEY SHALL WEEP FOR THEE WITH BITTERNESS OF HEART, AND BITTER WAILING! AND IN THEIR WAILING THEY SHALL TAKE UP A LAMENTATION FOR THEE, AND LAMENT OVER THEE, SAYING, WHAT CITY IS LIKE TYRUS, LIKE THE DESTROYED IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA! WHEN THY WARES WENT FORTH OUT OF THE SEAS, THOU FILLEDST MANY PEOPLE; THOU DIDST ENRICH THE KINGS OF THE EARTH WITH THE MULTITUDE OF THY RICHES AND OF THY MERCHANDISE! IN THE TIME WHEN THOU SHALT BE BROKEN BY THE SEAS IN THE DEPTHS OF THE WATERS THY MERCHANDISE AND ALL THY COMPANY IN THE MIDST OF THEE SHALL FALL! ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE ISLES SHALL BE ASTONISHED AT THEE, AND THEIR KINGS SHALL BE SORE AFRAID, THEY SHALL BE TROUBLED IN THEIR COUNTENANCE! THE MERCHANTS AMONG THE PEOPLE SHALL HISS AT THEE; THOU SHALT BE A TERROR, AND NEVER SHALT BE ANY MORE!
PRIDE! BEAUTY! WEALTH! WISDOM! MERCHANDISE! TRADE! When you read the words which are found in this particular section of Scripture you will notice a tremendous amount of language is given in prophecy unto and concerning Tyrus—and not only Tyrus, but also the land of Egypt. In just a couple chapters we find the prophetic book of Ezekiel continuing with its narrative concerning the nations of the earth, and eventually the prophet will begin speaking directly unto Egypt. Thus far we have seen and witnessed Ezekiel speak to nations such as Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia, and now we find him turning and directing his attention to prophesying concerning Tyrus. It is actually quite remarkable to read and consider the words which are found in these chapters concerning Tyrus, for the language that is used paints a very clear and powerful picture of Tyrus—namely, how Tyrus was a city north of Israel that was heavily involved in trade, in commerce, in merchandise, and all types of profit and exchange. You cannot read the words which are found in these chapters and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that Tyrus was indeed a powerful center for all type of traffic as commerce thrived and boomed in the midst of the city. Because of its strategic location on the Mediterranean Sea—even how its main center of trade and commerce actually jutted out of the mainland into the sea—it would attract the attention of all types of nations and peoples. Tyrus would be known for its trade, its commerce and its merchandise, and would be known for its relationships with the nations and peoples round about it to the north, to the south, and to the east. Ezekiel even paints a powerful picture of how Israel and Judah were involved in trade with Tyrus—a relationship that would extend back to the days of David and Solomon kings of Israel. If and as you read Scripture you will find that it would be Hiram of Tyre that would provide a great abundance of material that would be used in the construction and building of the Temple. What’s more, is that not only would Hiram of Tyre supply a great amount of material used in the building of the Temple, but he also engaged wonderfully and powerfully in relationship with David and Solomon, kings of Israel during Israel’s ancient golden years. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome reality, for it can and will help us understand the prophetic word which was released concerning Tyrus—and not only the word that was released concerning Tyrus, but also that which was released concerning another city that would be mentioned in the final prophetic book of the Scripture, which is the book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ.
As I sit here this morning thinking about and considering this ancient city of Tyrus, I can’t help but be drawn to the incredible reality that Tyrus could very well be a city that was known for its relationships with the nations and peoples of the earth. If and as you read the words which are found in the prophetic book of Ezekiel—as well as perhaps the words which are found in the prophetic book of Isaiah—you will find that Tyrus would have engaged in relationships with numerous nations, peoples, lands and kingdoms, and would take full advantage of those relationships in the act of trade, commerce and merchandise. This concept of relationship is wonderfully and powerfully displayed when and as you read the words found in these chapters, for when speaking concerning Tyrus and its devastation and destruction the prophet Ezekiel describes how all those who had engaged themselves in trade and commerce with this ancient city would wail, lament, weep and mourn over its destruction. With Tyrus effectively cut off and cut out of the trade and merchandise industry it would essentially create a huge gap, a huge vacuum, and a huge hole in the trade and business that would once thrive and be found within its cities and centers. Consider what you will find in the twenty-seventh chapter of this prophetic book beginning to read with and from the twenty-seventh verse: “Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin. The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots. And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land; AND SHALL CAUSE THEIR VOICE TO BE HEARD AGAINST THEE, AND SHALL CRY BITTERLY, AND SHALL CAST UP DUST UPON THEIR HEADS, THEY SHALL WALLOW THEMSELVES IN THE ASHES: AND THEY SHALL MAKE THEMSELVS UTTERLY BALD FOR THEE, AND GIRD THEM WITH SACKCLOTH, AND THEY SHALL WEEP FOR THEE WITH BITTERNESS OF HEART AND BITTER WEAILING. AND IN THEIR WAILING THEY SHALL TAKE UP A LAMNETATION FOR THEE, AND LAMENT OVER THEE, SAYING, WHAT CITY IS LIKE TYRUS, LIKE THE DESTROYED IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA?” (Ezekiel 27:27-33).
These words bring us face to face with an awesome and powerful picture of the great weeping, the great lamentation, the great mourning and wailing that will take place in the day of the destruction of Tyrus. Through and according to the word of the LORD Ezekiel very plainly revealed concerning Tyrus that it can and would be destroyed, and that despite its great wealth, despite its great commerce, despite its economic stability, and despite its merchandise and precious possessions—none of it would save them in the day of their calamity, devastation and destruction. YOUR WEALTH CANNOT SAVE YOU! YOUR ECONOMY CANNOT SAVE YOU! YOUR RICHES CANNOT SAVE YOU! YOUR MERCHANDISE CANNOT HELP YOU! I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, and I can’t help but be drawn and brought face to face with the awesome reality that when it came to Tyrus, the living and eternal God declared unto them that in the day of their calamity, and in the day of their devastation and destruction in the midst of the seas, their economy would not and could not save them. Stop for a moment and think about that statement and the tremendous implications and impact it would and could have on such a great and important city such as Tyrus. This city which was known among the nations as a powerful nation of trade, commerce, merchandise, goods, wealth and prosperity would not be able to trust in its riches, nor in its wealth, nor in its prosperity in the day of its calamity, judgment, devastation and destruction. This is absolutely necessary to think about and consider, for one might think that wealth, riches, and possessions would have some merit, and would have some value when a city or nation is on the brink of calamity, and yet the underlying truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. If there is one thing the prophetic word spoken concerning and spoken unto Tyrus reveals, it’s that in the day of calamity—specifically in a day of calamity which was ordained by the one true and living God—there is no amount of riches that can deliver out of the hands of enemies and adversaries. We would like to think that our riches, our wealth, our possessions, and our abundance of goods can and will save us in the day of calamity, devastation and destruction, and yet the truth of the matter is that this has never been, nor will it every be the case.
Tyrus was a powerful port city that was perfectly situated on the Mediterranean Sea, and it was essentially in a strategic location that would attract all sorts of nations, kingdoms, peoples and lands to its ports and waters as it would thrive upon trade and commerce. The waters of Tyrus would be waters where much trade, much commerce, much merchandise, and much exchange would take place—perhaps not only between Tyrus and the nations, but possibly even among and between the nations themselves. I am absolutely and completely convinced that when it comes to Tyrus there is a powerful truth that can be learned when speaking of it—namely, that material wealth, material goods, and material possessions cannot save, nor can it deliver us in the day of calamity, in the day of devastation, and in the day of ruin, judgment and wrath. I am sure that the inhabitants of Tyrus placed a great deal of trust and confidence in their riches, in their wealth, in their possessions, in their trade, in their commerce, in their merchandise, and even in their economy, and yet the prophetic word of the LORD spoken through His servant Ezekiel would prove and demonstrate that this reality would simply not be the case. WHEN ECONOMIES ARE BROUGHT LOW! WHEN ECONOMIES ARE BROUGHT TO NOTHING! WHEN ECONOMIES ARE CAST INTO THE MIDST OF THE SEA! Oh I cannot help but read the words which are found concerning Tyrus and encounter and come face to face with the reality that the living and eternal God can in fact, and can indeed topple the most stable of economies in the midst of the earth. Those economies which are perhaps thought to be absolutely impenetrable, and those economies which are thought to be untouchable in the eyes of man, and even by the hands of man are not off limits to the hand of the living God. It is absolutely possible that the LORD can strike at the very heart of even the strongest economies, and even that one singular economy from which all the others derive their existence and strength.
The prophetic word which is spoken by the prophet Ezekiel concerning the devastation and destruction of Tyrus is a truly powerful word that the LORD can not only topple thrones, and can not only topple kingdoms, and can not only topple kings, but the LORD can even topple economies. The words found in these chapters should bring us face to face with the striking and alarming reality that the living and eternal God can indeed strike at the very heart of the most powerful economy that is found in the midst of the earth. Despite how “necessary” and how “valuable” such economies are and might be for the nations of the earth, the LORD can choose to in a moment and in an instant strike at the very heart of that economy, bring it down to the ground, completely and utterly humble it, and send shock waves through and unto the nations. You cannot read the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and not encounter the truly awesome truth that the LORD of hosts has the power to strike—not only at the very heart of the strongest economies, but can even strike a death blow to those economies, and essentially cast them into the sea. Tyrus would be known for its strategic location in the midst of the seas, and it would be known for its abundance of trade with the nations of the earth, and even the word of the LORD which would be spoken by the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel would reveal just how powerful this trade between Tyrus and the nations of the earth actually was. There must be absolutely no denying, nor any mistaking just how valuable and important Tyrus was among the nations of the earth, for the nations of the earth would come to trust in Tyrus for their own economies. Stop for a moment and think about that awesome and incredible fact that the nations of the earth during these times would not only trust in Tyrus for its economy, but in all reality it would trust in Tyrus—perhaps to some degree and measure—for their own economies. There is absolutely no denying the fact that the economy of Tyrus would be intrinsically linked and intrinsically connected to the economies of the nations round about it, as the economies of other nations would be entirely and altogether dependent on Tyrus for their own success an existence. If there is one thing the prophetic words of Ezekiel reveal concerning Tyrus, it’s just how much the other nations, peoples and lands round about Tyrus to the north, the south, and the east would trust in its merchandise and its economy to stabilize their own. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the twenty-seventh chapter of this prophetic book beginning with the first and opening verse:
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the LORD GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty. Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim. Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to by thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee. The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise. They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness. The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect. Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market. They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules. The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony. Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: They occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm. Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wools. Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: brith iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market. Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots. Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were they thy merchants. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold. Haran and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants. These were thy merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and broidered word, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise. The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou was replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas” (Ezekiel 27:1-25).
THEY WERE THY MERCHANTS! Please don’t miss the awesome and incredible reality of what is found within this passage of Scripture, for although it contains and is made up of twenty-five verses, it nonetheless reveals the tremendous reality that the nations of the earth engaged themselves in trade, in commerce, in merchandise, and in the exchange of goods, riches, wealth, materials, and the like with Tyrus. There is absolutely no denying the fact that Tyrus’ economy was an integral part of the economies of the nations, the peoples, the lands, and the kingdoms round about it—and not only an integral part, but also a direct influence upon those economies. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome truth, for these words reveal just how great and just how strong the economy of Tyrus truly was in the midst of the seas, and in the midst of the nations. You cannot read the words found in these verses and not encounter the truth that Tyrus was indeed a powerful city in the midst of the seas and in the midst of the waters—primarily and mainly because of its influence on the economies of other nations. Stop and think about that for a moment, for it reveals something truly astonishing when you actually take the time to think about it. It might very well be said that if the economies of other nations are dependent upon you and your economy, and if the economies of other nations are directly impacted and affected by you, there is a certain amount of control that can be exercised over them. I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think about the awesome and incredible reality that that nation which not only boasts of a strong economy itself, but also controls and dictates the economies of other nations not only can, but also will exercise power and authority over those nations. It might very well be said that the nation with the strongest economy—not only with the strongest economy within and of itself, but also the strongest economy among the nations—can and will have a tremendous amount of influence upon the nations round about it. There is something about economic stability and economic strength that has the ability to directly influence and impact nations, and yet conversely—there is something about economic instability and economic weakness that can directly impact and affect the nations of the earth. We must make absolutely no mistake about the words which are found in these chapters, for undoubtedly the economy of Tyrus was of great strength and stature in the midst of the earth. The economy of Tyrus was such that would bring the nations of the earth into its waters, into its ports, and into its streets and centers that they might trade and exchange for that which they could bring back with them and boost and strengthen their own economies.
The underlying truth and reality about Tyrus was that Tyrus was a powerful port city that was perfectly and beautiful situated in the midst of the seas which would have relations with all the nations of the earth during those times. For years—perhaps even for centuries—Tyrus would be that city that would not only have tremendous relations with the nations and peoples round about it, but would also be a direct influence of the economies of those nations, peoples and lands. Stop and think about the fact that this Tyrus wasn’t even a nation during the times of the kings and prophets, but was a port city situated to the north of Israel in what is now modern day Lebanon. There were certain and specific nations which the ancient Hebrew prophets spoke unto and spoke concerning, but there were also cities among the nations of the earth which would warrant the words and declarations of the prophets. Damascus, Tyrus and Zidon were among those cities in the midst of the earth that would find themselves at the very center of prophetic declarations spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets. What we find in the midst of these chapters is something that is quite intriguing—and also quite alarming—when you take the time to think about it, for if such a strong economy, if such a strong city, if such a powerful place of commerce could be toppled and brought low, it would almost serve as an alarm and warning of a calamity and collapse that would be felt in those nations which one trusted and relied upon it. Think about what it would and could mean for those nations who trusted and relied upon Tyrus for their own economies, and for their own trade and commerce for Tyrus to be brought low—and not only brought low, but also to be brought into the midst of the seas. Stop and think about the shock waves that would be sent into and among the nations of the earth if such a strong and powerful city—strong and powerful economically and commercially—were to be brought low by the divine hand and strong arm of the living and eternal God. It’s one thing for the LORD to topple thrones and kingdoms, but it’s something else entirely for the LORD to topple economies, trade, commerce and merchandise.
WHEN THE LORD TOPPLES ECONOMIES! WHEN THE LORD THROWS DOWN COMMERCE AND TRADE! WHEN THE LORD STRIKES AT THE VERY HEART OF MERCHANDISE! Scripture paints a very powerful picture of how the LORD can indeed topple and cast down thrones and kingdoms, however, what we find here within these chapters is an even greater picture of what the LORD can do—and not only what the LORD can do, but also what the LORD has done in the past. In fact, what we must recognize and understand is that within Scripture—not only do we find a picture of the LORD toppling and overthrowing an economy as strong and powerful as Tyrus in the past, but we also have a powerful picture of the LORD toppling and overthrowing an economy as strong and powerful as what the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ would describe as “Babylon.” If and as you read the words found in the ancient Hebrew prophets, as well as the words which are found in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ you will not only find a picture of the LORD overthrowing, toppling and bringing low an economy in the past, but you will also find a picture of the LORD overthrowing and toppling an economy in the future. Scripture speaks of and reveals the living and eternal God as being the same yesterday, today and forever, and we must recognize and understand this wonderful and powerful truth, for it shines a tremendous amount of light on to the reality that the LORD can operate in the future as He has operated in the past. The LORD can indeed do in the future that which He has already done in the past, and if the LORD can topple an economy as strong and powerful as that of Tyrus, the LORD can topple an economy as strong and powerful as that of Babylon in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, and specifically in the eighteenth chapter. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this New Testament prophetic book beginning to read with and from the first verse:
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: For she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: For strong is the LORD God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and oinments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried, When they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou hheaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Revelation 18:1-24).
I am absolutely convinced that we cannot have a conversation and discussion about Tyrus in the Old Testament without also having a conversation about Babylon in the New Testament, for what the LORD did in the ancient days of the kings and prophets He can, will and is going to do in the Last Days. It’s actually quite remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that the LORD of hosts would overthrow and topple an economy as strong as that of Tyrus during the days of kings and prophets, and yet it would not be the only time in history the LORD would topple and overthrow an economy or economies. What we find in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ is absolutely incredible and captivating when you think about it, for that which the LORD of hosts did in times past He can and will do once more in the future. In the ancient times the LORD would topple the economy of Tyrus which dwelt in the midst of the seas, and in the latter times the LORD would topple the economy of Babylon which would be in the midst of the nations of the earth. Scripture is perfectly clear that the nations of the earth would live luxuriously and deliciously with this Babylon, and how the merchants of the earth had traded and engaged in powerful relations with her in the midst of the earth. Scripture is absolutely clear concerning Babylon, and how the economy of Babylon would be perhaps the strongest and most powerful in the midst of the earth. There is this underlying sense when reading the words found in this prophetic book of the New Testament that Babylon would boast the strongest, the greatest, and the mightiest economy in the midst of the earth, and all the nations of the earth would enjoy economic success and stability as a direct result of their involvement and relationship with Babylon. Please don’t miss this truth and this reality, for I am absolutely and completely convinced there is a powerful prophetic truth and message that is found and contained therein. There is absolutely and without a doubt a wonderful and powerful message found within the narratives of Tyrus and Babylon that reveal and demonstrate the awesome reality that as surely as the LORD of hosts can topple thrones and the kings which sit upon them, and as surely as the LORD of hosts can topple kingdoms, empires, and all that is mighty and powerful in the midst of the earth, the LORD can topple economies as well.
The narrative surrounding Tyrus is one that is truly captivating when you think about it, for in the process of the LORD executing judgment and wrath upon the nations round about Israel and Judah, He would also execute judgment upon the economic hub which was known as Tyrus. The LORD would execute judgment and would bring wrath upon Tyrus which dwelt in the midst of the seas, and would do so despite how integral her economy was in the midst of the nations, peoples and lands of the earth. What a truly sobering picture it is to read chapters twenty-six through twenty-eight and find that the LORD can not only bring nations down low, and not only can the LORD bring thrones and kings down low, and not only can the LORD topple and bring low kingdoms and empires, but the LORD can also topple and bring down low economies. If there is one thing the prophetic narrative found in this passage of Scripture reveals, it’s that in the day of the LORD’s judgment and wrath He can and will bring down low economies—and not simply economies, but the strongest and most secure economies within the earth. In the day of the LORD when He would execute judgment and wrath—not only upon Judah and Jerusalem, but also upon the nations of the earth—the LORD would execute His judgment and His wrath upon the city of Tyrus. It is important for us to realize and recognize what the city of Tyrus would represent during those days and during those times, for the city of Tyrus would indeed and would in fact represent the economies of those days and during those times. The fall and collapse of Tyrus would reverberate and send shock waves within, among and throughout the nations of the earth, as the nations of the earth would trust and rely on the strength of her economy, and the strength of her trade and merchandise for their own stability, their own success and their own strength. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome reality, for it shines a tremendous amount of light on one of the greatest manifestations of the judgment and wrath of the LORD in the day of the LORD.
Perhaps one of the most astounding and remarkable truths about the day of the LORD—a day of calamity, devastation and destruction—is that in that day not even economies are safe, nor are they immune. NO ECONOMY IS SAFE! NOT EVEN THE STRONGEST ECONOMY IS SAFE! I can’t help but find a powerful prophetic word and word of alarm and trumpet in this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially during the days and times in which we are presently living—for not only can the strongest economy save and deliver in the day of the judgment and wrath of the LORD, but the LORD can bring about the collapse of even the strongest economy. In the day of the LORD, and in the midst of the LORD’s judgment and wrath He can in fact bring His judgment upon the economies of the world—and not simply upon the economies of the world, but also that economy which is at the very heart and center of all the others. The world watched in stunned horror, shock and amazement when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center almost nineteen years ago on September 11th as one would strike the north tower, and another would strike the south tower. Eventually both towers would collapse and implode upon themselves leaving a tremendous amount of ruin, rubble, debris, dust, smoke, ash, and the like at Ground Zero. It’s important to recognize and understand what these buildings represented, for not only were they the symbols of our economic power as a nation, but even the very name itself—World Trade Center—speaks to and suggests trade, commerce and merchandise with the world. One might very well argue that Manhattan and New York City bore and still does bear a strong similarity with Tyrus which sat in the midst of the seas. When the World Trade Center was struck, and when those towers collapsed and imploded upon themselves it was a sign and portent of an even greater collapse—namely, an economic collapse within this nation, and one that would be felt around, within and throughout the world. There is absolutely no denying and no mistaking the fact that when the World Trade Center was struck almost nineteen years ago on September 11th it was a sign and portent of an even greater collapse that would be felt in the midst of the earth, as the LORD would not only strike the symbols of our economy, but would strike the very economy itself.
Seven years after the events of September 11th this nation found itself experiencing a tremendous economic crash and collapse that would send shock waves within and throughout the nations of the earth, as this nation which boasted the strongest and greatest economy among the nations would find itself experiencing the LORD rise up against it to humble it and bring it down low. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and powerful reality, for to do so would be to miss out on that which the LORD did unto Tyrus, and that which the LORD did in lower Manhattan. It would be on that day almost nineteen years ago when the LORD would strike at the very heart of the economy that essentially ruled over all the other economies of the world, and at the very heart of the economy that would influence and impact the economies of the nations. On that day the LORD would strike a death blow upon the very symbols of the economy of this nation, and it would set up the awesome reality and truth that eventually and ultimately the LORD would strike the very economy itself. It would be on the very next day after the events of September 11th that the bell at Wall Street would not sound—an ominous sing and portent to this nation which boasted the greatest economy of the world. The prophetic words which we find in the twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth chapters of the prophetic book of Ezekiel bring us face to face with the fact that the LORD can in fact topple and humble the strongest of economies in the midst of the earth, and the LORD can indeed and can in fact topple economies in a single day—yea, even in a single hour. Consider the strong language that is found in the eighteenth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, for part of what the angel spoke and revealed was that in one hour this great city was made desolate. ONE HOUR! IN ONE HOUR SUCH A GREAT AND PROSPEROUS CITY WOULD BE BROUGHT LOW AND WOULD BE MADE DESOLATE!
The more I think about and consider the words which are found within these chapters of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, and the more I think about the words which are found in the eighteenth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel the more I find myself coming face to face with the awesome and tremendous reality that the LORD can indeed and can in fact bring economies to their knees, and can indeed humble and bring low the strongest economies in the midst of the earth. The words which we find in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ wonderfully and powerful demonstrates the awesome reality that the LORD can indeed humble and bring low even the strongest of economies. Within and during the times we are living right now we cannot deny the truth that the LORD can indeed bring down low the strongest and mightiest economies in the midst of the earth, and within a seven year period of time the LORD would humble and bring low the economy of this nation. Even during the days in which we are living there has been a lot of conversation and dialogue about the economy as a direct result of COVID-19, as this global pandemic would strike the hardest within the nation of America. It would be as a direct result of this global pandemic that countless millions of jobs would be lost—some temporarily, and some permanently—as companies and businesses would be forced to shut down. Countless men and women would be furloughed, let go, laid off, and the like during this time, as the economy would be brought to a virtual halt and standstill. For months businesses would be forced to be shut down, and would have a direct impact on the economy. What’s more, is that all of this would be followed by protests which would target businesses as rioting, looting, vandalism and destruction would be unleashed upon businesses within and throughout cities across this nation. It almost seems that what would begin with the striking of the symbols of our economy would spark and set in motion a series of events that would reverberate throughout the years, as we would first see the devastation of our economy as a direct result of the housing crisis, and big banks which would file for bankruptcy. Now here we are in the twentieth year of the new century and the economy would once more suffer a devastating blow as a result of a global pandemic and internal civil unrest. Pause for a moment and think about everything that has happened since March of this year, and how many jobs have been lost, how the government needed to infuse the nation with stimulus checks, how businesses were forced to shut down for months before finally being allowed to reopen, and how we are witnessing essentially a “new normal” in an age of “social distancing” and “masks.”
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I can’t help but think about the fact that over the past twenty years we have seen a number of devastating blows toward, against and upon this economy—an economy that was at one point the greatest, the strongest and the mightiest in the world. At one point the United States dollar was the single greatest currency in the world, and our economy was at the forefront—if not at the foundation of all the other economies of the world. This nation and this country not only boasted the greatest military might and power on the face of the planet, but also the strongest economy—two realities which would have their name and reputation tested in a single day. The words which we find within the prophetic book of Ezekiel concerning Tyrus powerfully demonstrates and reveals the truly awesome truth and reality that the LORD can in fact humble even the strongest and even the mightiest economy in the midst of the earth. In the day of the LORD’s judgment and wrath He can indeed humble economies as surely and as certainly as He would humble thrones, towers, walls, gates, and the like. Up to this point in the prophetic word concerning the nations within this book of Ezekiel the word of the LORD would describe judgment and calamity upon the gates, the walls, the borders, the boundaries, and the strength of the nations round about Israel and Judah. When we come to Tyrus, however, we find something altogether different and altogether separate from the rest, for when the LORD spoke unto and concerning Tyrus He would not speak of nor would He address its walls, its towers, its gates, nor even any military might it boasted of. That which the LORD spoke of when speaking unto Tyrus would be the economic might and strength it boasted of. What’s more, is that there would be nearly three chapters within the prophetic book of Ezekiel given unto the devastation, the destruction, and the collapse of the economy of those times.
When the LORD was bringing judgment upon the nations during those days of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the LORD would humble military might and strength, but the LORD would also strike at the very heart of many nations and peoples—namely, the economic stability of the region. With the calamity and devastation that would take place in the midst of Tyrus the LORD would take this devastation and destruction to an entirely different realm, as the judgment and wrath would move beyond simply walls, gates, and towers to wealth, riches, possessions, goods, and the like. Oh it was indeed true the LORD would bring judgment upon the military might and strength of the nations during those times, however, it is also true the LORD would humble and bring low the economies of those nations. By striking a death blow against and upon Tyrus during those days the LORD would in all reality bring a strong and powerful hand against the economy of Tyrus which would directly influence and impact the economies of the nations. The LORD would humble and bring low all trade, all commerce, all merchandise, all commercial interactions, and would target wealth, possessions and goods. By casting Tyrus into the same sea it once sat perfect in beauty the LORD would set in motion something that would be seen in the Last Days when the LORD would cast down Babylon and her trade, her commerce, her merchandise, and her wealth. There have been certain individuals who have sounded an alarm of the financial collapse of America, and the LORD’s judgment against and upon the economy, and none has perhaps been more notable than the late Reverend David Wilkerson. I sit here today, and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that the one true and living God can humble thrones and kingdoms, and the LORD can humble military might and strength, but it is also true the LORD can humble economic strength and economic stability. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the awesome and powerful reality that the LORD can indeed and can in fact humble and bring low the strongest economies as a sign of judgment—and not only as a sign of judgment, but also a sign and declaration that no economy is safe, and no economy can save in the day of the LORD.
With this writing drawing and coming to a close I feel I cannot close it without calling and drawing your attention to a prophetic word that is found within these chapters—one that doesn’t necessarily deal with economies, trade, commerce, merchandise, material wealth and goods, but at someone that is at the very heart of much of what is present within and throughout history. It is within this prophetic word concerning Tyrus we find Ezekiel being instructed to take up a lamentation against the king of Tyrus, and what would begin as a powerful prophetic word concerning the king of Tyrus would ultimately be a prophetic word concerning the ultimate influence behind many of the earthly thrones, kings, kingdoms and empires in the midst of the earth. Ultimately the prophetic word would turn to judgment against Lucifer himself who was the bright and morning star. In this prophetic word concerning Tyrus we would find a powerful prophetic narrative concerning the morning star who would exalt himself in his pride, in his beauty, and in his own worth and self-value, and as a direct result would be brought low, cast out and cast down. This conversation concerning Tyrus cannot be completed without understanding the lament which would be taken up concerning this king of Tyrus, and how it would ultimately transition to a powerful word concerning the morning star himself. I leave you with these words—not only as a powerful declaration of the judgment of the LORD against an earthly king and an earthly throne, but also against the influence behind many of the thrones, kings, kingdoms, nations and rulers of the earth:
“The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the LORD God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: with thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: by thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold therefore 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. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? But thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the LORD God” (Ezekiel 28:1-10).
“Moreover, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emeralds, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).