Today’s selected reading continues in the prophetic book of Ezekiel which concerned the word of the LORD that would come to him in the fifth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters thirty-one through thirty-three of this Old Testament book. “And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand” (Ezekiel 29:6-7). “It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the LORD God” (Ezekiel 29:15-16). When you read the words which are found in this particular portion of Scripture you will notice the prophetic narrative of Ezekiel changing and shifting gears from Tyrus of whom we read of in chapters twenty-six, twenty-seven and twenty-eight, to now reading concerning Egypt. What’s more, is that the prophetic word that is spoken within this section of Scripture doesn’t merely deal with the land of Egypt, but with its inhabitants, as well as its king. It’s actually quite intriguing to think about and consider this reality and truth, for when you read certain prophetic words found in the books of Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah, you will find that there were certain times when the prophetic word concerning a nation and/or kingdom wouldn’t merely include a prophetic word concerning the nation and land itself, but it would also touch the place of government and the seat of authority as well. This is something that must be wonderfully considered, for if you read and study the prophetic narratives found within these chapters and prophetic books you will find that the LORD’s controversy with certain nations and kingdoms would also directly impact and touch the king and ruler of those nations. Within the prophetic books of Isaiah and Ezekiel alone—not only do we find a prophetic word concerning Babylon, but we also find a prophetic word concerning the king of Babylon. Moreover, we not only find a prophetic word concerning Tyrus, but also the king of Tyrus. In addition to that we also find a prophetic word concerning Egypt—and not only the land and nation of Egypt itself, but also the king who ruled over that land.
JUDGMENT UPON THE NATION=JUDGMENT UPON THE THRONE! JUDGMENT UPON THE THRONE=JUDGMENT UPON THE NATION! I sit here this morning thinking about and considering this awesome and incredible reality, and I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the truth that when you read the prophetic words concerning these three nations and kingdoms—Babylon, Egypt and Tyrus—you will find the LORD would call and instruct Ezekiel and Isaiah to take up lamentations for its king and that one who sat upon the throne in the midst of the land. The prophet Isaiah would take up a lamentation concerning Babylon itself, but it would also take up a lamentation concerning the king of Babylon as well. The prophet Ezekiel would be instructed of the LORD to take up a lamentation for the prince of Tyrus, and once that lamentation was over, the prophet would then be instructed to take up a lamentation for the king of Tyrus as well. Moreover, when the LORD would speak unto Ezekiel concerning Egypt, the LORD would instruct him to take up a lamentation concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt. This is actually something that is quite intriguing and astonishing when you take the time to truly think about it, for it reveals a powerful principle that appears within the prophetic writings of the Old Testament—namely, that judgment upon certain nations and kingdoms would also include judgment upon the kings who ruled and reigned over those nations. The LORD would bring judgment upon Babylon, but He would not only bring judgment upon Babylon, but would also judge the king of Babylon who sat upon the throne in the midst of this great city and great empire. The LORD bring judgment upon Tyrus and would cast it into the midst of the seas, and the LORD would also bring judgment upon the king of Tyrus who sat upon the throne within this great city. The LORD would bring judgment upon the nation and kingdom of Egypt, and that judgment would touch and would reach as high as the throne of Pharaoh king of Egypt who ruled and reigned over Egypt.
Stop for a moment and think about this powerful truth and principle, for it is something that must be recognized and understood when attempting to read the words which are found within these prophetic narratives. The LORD would speak and bring a word of judgment concerning and against Babylon through His servant Isaiah the son of Amoz, and that prophetic word would touch more than the city, the kingdom and the empire of Babylon, but would also touch the very throne itself—the very seat of authority and power within and over Babylon. Thus, the judgment of the LORD would touch both throne and kingdom alike, as the LORD would humble and bring down low both the seat of authority, government and power, and the LORD would bring down low and humble the kingdom and empire itself. There is quite an astonishing principle that is found within this particular reality, and that is simply that judgment against and judgment upon a nation can indeed and can in fact be about more than simply the nation and people themselves, but it can also be about that one is seated in the place of all authority and government in the midst of that nation, in the midst of that kingdom, and in the midst of that empire. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truth, for it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful reality that the living and eternal God can judge both nation and king alike, both nation and ruler alike, both nation and leader alike. In our modern day context there are nations which have kings which rule over them, there are nations which have prime ministers which rule over them, and there are nations which have presidents ruling over them. The United States of America is a nation that has a President who is seated in the highest place of authority and government within the land, and yet with this being said, I can’t help but wonder if judgment upon this nation would indeed and would in fact mean judgment upon that one who is seated in the highest place of authority in the midst of the land. What’s more, is when judgment is brought forth against and upon a nation, it can in fact touch more than simply the ultimate leader and ruler of that nation, but it can also touch its princes, its leaders, its governors, and all those who are seated in places of authority in the midst of the land.
The more I think about and the more I consider the words which are found in these passages of Scripture the more I can’t help but be drawn to the awesome and wonderful reality that there are times when the LORD’s judgment upon the nation will touch its seat of authority, its seat of government, and its seat of power which rests and resides within it. We cannot afford to miss and lose sight of this reality, for it is one that is found on more than one occasion within Scripture—particularly the prophetic narratives of Isaiah and Ezekiel—as the judgment of the LORD upon Babylon would also mean judgment upon the king of Babylon, as the judgment of the LORD upon Tyrus would also mean judgment upon the king of Tyrus, and as the judgment of the LORD upon Egypt would also mean judgment upon the king of Egypt. How absolutely captivating it is to think about and consider the fact that there are times and there have been certain times within history when the judgment and wrath of the LORD will not only touch the nation and kingdom itself, but it will touch the very seat of authority and power. I previously wrote how the judgment and wrath of the LORD upon Tyrus is a powerful prophetic picture of the LORD’s judgment upon and against the economies of the world—and not just the economies of the world, but also the economy of one specific nation. In the days of the kings and prophets we find the LORD bringing judgment against and upon Tyrus, and this despite the fact that Tyrus was perhaps the greatest economy in the known world at that time. It would be through Tyrus’ waters and ports that trade and commerce would take place between the nations of the earth—and not only between the nations of the earth, but even between Tyrus and the nations, lands and peoples which would come into its waters and unto its ports to trade and exchange their goods, wealth and possessions.
If there is one thing I find absolutely remarkable and astounding when reading the prophetic words of Ezekiel the son of Buzi here within these chapters, it’s that in the midst of the LORD’s judgment upon the nations, the LORD would also bring judgment to the economies of those nations, and the LORD would bring judgment upon seats of authority, government and power. Through the prophetic declaration spoken unto and concerning Tyrus we find the LORD bringing judgment upon what might very well be perceived as the greatest economy in the world at that time—something that would reverberate within and throughout all the nations, peoples and lands of the earth, as all those who trusted and relied upon Tyrus for their own trade and commerce, and as all those who trusted in Tyrus for their own economic stability would find themselves scrambling to survive. The more I think about this, the more I find it absolutely powerful to consider that the LORD’s judgment upon Tyrus, and the LORD’s judgment upon this great city of commerce, trade, exchange and merchandise—essentially the LORD’s judgment against this great economy—would in all reality be a judgment against an entire economic system, and would potentially cause it to come grinding to a halt. I can’t help but get the strong sense that the LORD’s judgment against and upon the economy of Tyrus would be a judgment against and upon an economic system of that day, as well as judgment against the economies of the nations. In all reality, we might very well say that the collapse of the economy and economic stability of Tyrus would send shock waves through the nations, lands and peoples round about it, and would potentially cause certain nations, peoples and lands to collapse and crumble within themselves. It is through the prophetic narrative we find spoken concerning Tyrus and the LORD’s judgment upon it that brings us face to face with the tremendous truth that the LORD can indeed and can in fact bring judgment against one single economy—perhaps the greatest economy in the world, and that economy which directly impacts and influences the economies of the world—and as a direct result of this judgment, the LORD will humble the pride, the arrogance, the boasting, the false trust, and the false confidence of man.
With all of this being said, it’s worth considering the prophetic narratives concerning Tyrus, Egypt and Babylon, for within the prophetic word spoken unto and concerning these places and locations would also be a powerful prophetic declaration concerning the thrones and seats of government and authority in the midst of them. It’s actually something worth thinking about and considering that there would be three heathen and Gentile nations/kingdoms mentioned within Scripture that would not only find themselves at the very heart of a prophetic word spoken unto and concerning them, but also their kings would be at the very heart and center of the prophetic word itself. In fact, one can’t help but wonder if there isn’t more than meets the eye when thinking about and considering the narratives and prophetic words which were spoken unto and released concerning these three very real geographical locations in the midst of the ancient world. Tyrus represented economic strength and stability, while Babylon was the greatest and most powerful kingdom and empire during that time. It might very well say that while Tyrus represented economic strength and stability, Babylon represented military might, military strength and military stability. When you come to the nation and kingdom of Egypt, however, you find will of course find the word of the LORD speaking concerning pride, concerning arrogance, concerning beauty, concerning pomp, and the like, however, you will also find something even deeper and something greater than all of this—namely, the false trust and false confidence the house of Israel placed within and upon it. If Tyrus represented economic strength and stability, if Babylon represented military strength and stability, then I would dare say Egypt represents false trust and false confidence. The LORD’s judgment against and upon the house of Israel would be judgment against this false confidence and this false trust they would put in it—not only as means to save and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies and adversaries, but also as means to provide safety, shelter and refuge during the days of calamity, judgment, wrath, devastation and destruction.
We know from Scripture that the house of Israel would place their trust and confidence in the nation and kingdom of Egypt to somehow deliver them out of the hands of their enemies and adversaries, and we also know that the house of Israel would look unto Egypt in the day of calamity, judgment and wrath to somehow provide them with shelter, safety and refuge. In fact, if you turn and direct your attention to the final chapters of the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will find the remnant of the house of Israel and Judah which remained in the land setting their hearts and minds to go down into the land of Egypt. The people which remained in the land would be fearful of the sword and king of Babylon after Gedaliah whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the remnant within the land was assassinated and murdered in cold blood. What’s more, is that the remnant which remained in the midst of the land would even face the threat of being carried away captive into the land of the Ammonites, as Ishmael would take this remnant which remained in the land, and would seek to carry them into the land of Ammon. The prophetic book of Jeremiah would reveal how this attempt to carry away the remnant of the house of Israel and Judah captive into the land of the Ammonites would be thwarted, however, we find the murder of Gedaliah and this close call with captivity being enough to strike fear within the hearts of the remnant which remained in the midst of the land. It would be this fear that would drive them down into the land of Egypt—even after the prophet Jeremiah warned them of the great danger and calamity that would befall them there in the land of Egypt. When the people came unto Jeremiah asking him to “inquire of the LORD” on their behalf concerning their going down unto the land of Egypt, I would dare say that either they expected Jeremiah to agree with their desire to go down into the land of Egypt and bless their endeavor, or they expected the word of the LORD to give them permission to go down unto this land. Of course we know from Scripture that the word of the LORD would come unto Jeremiah, and he would warn them concerning their going down unto the land of Egypt, and their thinking that by going down in the midst of it they would be able to escape the sword of the king of Babylon.
I cannot help but get the strong sense that each of these three geographical locations represented something very specific in the midst of the earth, and even something very specific within our modern day context. I firmly believe that the LORD’s judgment against Tyrus was judgment against the economic stability of that city, and even the economic stability of the nations, lands and peoples which were round its waters and trusted in it for their own commerce and their own economic strength. When I think about the LORD’s judgment against Babylon—of course I think about the LORD bringing judgment against that nation, that kingdom and that empire which not only invaded the land of Judah and captured its defenced cities, which not only broke through the wall of the city of Jerusalem and burned its walls and gates with fire, but also that nation, kingdom and empire which would destroy the Temple and sanctuary of the LORD, and would carry away His people captive. We cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing reality, for the LORD’s judgment against Babylon would be judgment against the strongest and most powerful nation and kingdom in the world up until that time. Perhaps one of the greatest truths concerning Babylon is that its rule, its reign, its authority, and its power over the nations in the midst of the earth would have an expiration date, as it would be the prophet Jeremiah who would prophesy concerning Babylon that after seventy years the LORD would visit it and would bring judgment upon it for the atrocities and evil they brought against the people of God, against the land which was given unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and against the very Temple and sanctuary of the LORD.
When we turn and direct our attention to the nation and kingdom of Egypt—not only are we brought to a prophetic word concerning the nation which the house of Judah would turn to in hopes of saving and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies, but also that nation and land the remnant of the house of Judah and Israel would go down into during the days of Judah and Jerusalem’s judgment and wrath. Despite the fact Jeremiah warned them of their going down into the land of Egypt, they would reject and rebel against the word of the LORD, and would choose to go down into the land regardless. We must not miss and lose sight of this awesome truth, for I am absolutely convinced the judgment of the LORD against and upon the land of Egypt would not only be because of its pride, its arrogance, its boasting, its beauty, and its own transgressions, but it would also be because of the false sense of strength, stability, shelter, peace, confidence and trust it provided to the house of Israel. What’s more, is that we might very well think and consider that if the house of Israel would themselves place this misguided and false trust and confidence in the nation and kingdom of Egypt, and against its king, there would be other nations and peoples which would turn unto Egypt thinking they would provide them with strength, stability, shelter, refuge, and deliverance from the enemies and adversaries which would threaten to consume and overtake them. The LORD would indeed and would in fact bring judgment against and upon the nation and kingdom of Egypt—and what’s more, is the LORD would bring judgment and calamity upon the king of Egypt. When the LORD would bring judgment against and upon the nation and kingdom of Egypt—not only would He bring judgment and wrath against the nation and kingdom itself, but the LORD would also bring judgment and wrath against the throne, against the very seat of authority and power in the midst of it, and against the one who was seated upon the throne.
THE LORD’S JUDGMENT AGAINST THRONES! THE LORD’S CONTROVERSY WITH SEATS OF POWER AND AUTHORITY! WHEN THE LORD OF HOSTS BRINGS JUDGMENT AGAINST SEATS OF POWER AND THOSE WHO SIT IN THE MIDST OF THEM! The prophetic narrative and language of Scripture wonderfully and powerfully demonstrates the LORD’s judgment against Babylon, Tyrus, and against Egypt, but it also describes the LORD’s judgment against the kings of these three specific locations. I continue to find myself being absolutely gripped and captivated by the narratives and prophetic words which were spoken concerning these three locations in the midst of the earth—and not only the locations themselves, but also the kings which sat upon the thrones therein—for I am convinced there is a powerful prophetic word and message that has direct implications for the generation and days in which we are living. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is a powerful prophetic word that is found in the midst of these individual prophetic words—one that not only touches the realm of nations, kingdoms and empires, but also one that touches the realm of thrones and kings. With this in mind, I invite you to consider the prophetic words which were spoken and released concerning the thrones and the ones who sat upon the thrones in the midst of these three locations found within and upon the earth. The LORD’s judgment against and upon these three locations would not merely touch the land and the inhabitants alone, but it would also touch the kings which sat in the seat of authority, power and government in the midst of them. Consider now the following words which are found in the prophetic books of Isaiah and Ezekiel concerning the word the LORD would speak and reveal concerning the kings which sat upon the thrones in the midst of Tyrus, Babylon and Egypt:
“And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! The golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: It stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee. Art thou also become weak as we? Art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare for slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:3-27).
“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 emerald, 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 was cast 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 was 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 traffic; 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).
“In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt: Speak, and say, Thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand. Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: Because he hath said, The river is mind, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. NO foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries” (Ezekiel 29:1-13).
“And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh’s arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man. But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 30:20-26).
“And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her little rivers unto all the trees of the field. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him. Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness. And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him. Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches: to the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit. Thus saith the LORD God; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descen into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth. They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? Yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the LORD God” (Ezekiel 31:1-18).
I fully realize and recognize that there is a lot of Scripture that is before you right now with each of the prophetic words spoken concerning Pharaoh, concerning the king of Tyrus, and concerning the king of Babylon having been presented unto you. I have to say that I firmly believe it is necessary for us to consider each of these narratives—not only individually, but also collectively and as a whole—as these narratives bring us face to face with the reality that the LORD’s judgment upon Tyrus would mean judgment against its king, the LORD’s judgment upon Babylon would mean judgment against its king, and the LORD’s judgment against Egypt would mean judgment against its king. THE KING OF ECONOMIC STRENGTH! THE KING OF MILITARY STRENGTH! THE KING OF FALSE CONFIDENCE! KINGS OF PRIDE! KINGS OF BOASTING! KINGS OF ARROGANCE! KINGS EXALTED IN THEIR BEAUTY! WHEN KINGS ELEVATE AND EXALT THEMSELVES IN THE SIGHT OF THE LIVING GOD! If and as you read the words which are found within the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel you will actually find the pride and arrogance of the king of Babylon, a dream the king had which troubled him, and which Daniel interpreted, and the fulfillment of the dream and interpretation which Daniel spoke and revealed. It’s actually worth noting and considering that in the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel you will find a powerful witness of the pride and arrogance of one of these kings, the LORD’s judgment against that pride and arrogance, the LORD’s humbling and bringing low the king which dared exalt himself in the sight of the LORD, and ultimately that king’s recognizing the supremacy, the greatness, the power, the might, the wisdom, and the majesty of the one true and living God. The narrative that is found in the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel would begin with Nebuchadnezzar having a dream which greatly troubled, perplexed and astonished him, and it would be Daniel who would interpret the dream—although the interpretation of the dream would speak of the heart of the king of Babylon being puffed up and exalted in pride and arrogance because of his own beauty and his own splendor, and the LORD passing judgment upon him. Consider the following words which are found in the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel beginning to read with and from the opening verse:
“Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. How great are his signs! And how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream. Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the sooth-sayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof. But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying, O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof. Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to be the end of all the earth: the leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word o the holy ones: to the intent that the living maty know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee. Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies. The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached the unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: it is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him; this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: that they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility. All this came upon Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dweling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellers and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase” (Daniel 4:1-37).
This passage found within the fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel is a powerful example found in Scripture of the LORD being able to humble and bring down low an earthly king because of the pride and arrogance that was found within their heart. With this being said, it’s worth noting that we also find another earthly king being humbled and brought low before the LORD of hosts, as in the narrative of the children of Israel living as slaves in the midst of the land of Egypt we find the LORD executing His judgments upon the land of Egypt, as well as against Pharaoh king of Egypt. In the Old Testament book of Exodus—not only do we see the LORD executing judgments against the land of Egypt and against Pharaoh through a series of ten plagues which brought devastation and destruction to the land, but we also find the LORD once more humbling Pharaoh at the Red Sea when He caused all the horses, all the chariots, and all the riders therein and upon them to be utterly consumed and destroyed by the waters of the Red Sea. Through a series of ten plagues and judgments in the midst of the land of Egypt, as well as the confrontation and showdown at the Red Sea—not only do we see the LORD’s ability to devastate the entire land of Egypt, but we also see the LORD’s ability to destroy the army of Pharaoh (or at least a great portion and number of that army). There are certain and specific examples and instances when we find the living and eternal God bringing His judgments upon earthly kings which sit upon thrones, as even in the fifth chapter of the prophetic book of Daniel we find the LORD’s judgment—not only against Babylon itself, but also against Belshazzar king of Babylon when the handwriting appeared on the wall, and when Darius the Mede invaded Babylon, seized control of it, and would put Belshazzar to death. We see from the narratives of Pharaoh king of Egypt, as well as Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar that the LORD is truly and indeed able to humble and bring low nations, kingdoms, empires, thrones, and the kings which sit upon those thrones, and those kings which rule and reign over such nations and kingdoms.
If there is one thing I can’t help but be absolutely astonished by when reading the words found concerning the kings of Babylon, Tyrus and Egypt, it is that the LORD is indeed sovereign over earthly thrones and earthly kings. We know and understand from the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ that when He returns to the earth He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords, but it is absolutely necessary that we understand the great sovereignty the LORD exercised and continues to exercise over thrones, dominions, nations, kingdoms, and the rulers within the earth. We find the living and eternal God instructing His holy servants the prophets to take up a lamentation concerning the king of Babylon, the king of Tyrus, and the king of Egypt, and what’s more, is that in each of these prophetic narratives we find death, destruction, hell, the grave, and the pit being mentioned. This is actually quite significant, for not only can the LORD humble and bring low kings here within and upon the earth, but the KING who is above all kings, and the LORD who is above all lords can even cast these earthly kings into hell itself, and can cause them to go down into the pit. The same God who opened up the earth and allowed it to swallow Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and allowed them to go alive down into the pit is the same God who can overthrow earthly thrones and earthly kings and cast them into the pit. What’s more, is that the prophetic narrative concerning these kings would seem to have a greater implication and meaning than simply an earthly king being toppled and overthrown, as at least the prophetic word concerning the king of Tyrus and the prophetic word concerning the king of Babylon would also have a direct revelation concerning Lucifer who would also himself be overthrown and cast down. We know from the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ that Lucifer—the great dragon who is that ancient serpent in the garden and known as Satan and the devil—would not only be cast out of heaven after he and his angels were unable to defeat Michael and his angels, but he would be bound and cast into the bottomless pit for one thousand years, and would ultimately be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. The prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ brings us face to face with the downward spiral and casting down and overthrowing of this prince of darkness and king of all that is evil, vile, wicked, and immoral in the sight of the living God.
I cannot help but read the words which are found within these chapters and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that the LORD does indeed and does in fact have a controversy with the pride and arrogance of man within and upon the earth. I firmly believe with everything that is within me that the living and eternal God has a controversy with the false beauty that surrounds nations and kingdoms in the midst of the earth, and the LORD can and will humble and bring them down low. What’s more, is the LORD can indeed overthrow and topple world economies, and even that one economy that seems to be at the very heart of all other economies. The LORD can completely and utterly humble and bring to nothing the economies of the world, and can bring nations to their knees by toppling and overthrowing economies—and can even do it in a single hour as is mentioned in the prophetic book of Revelation. There is not a doubt in my mind that Tyrus represents economic strength and stability, and that Babylon represents military strength, might, power, and force within the earth. What’s more, is Egypt represents a false confidence and a false trust in the midst of the earth, as men and women choose to put their trust, their confidence and their hope in that which cannot save nor deliver them. When the LORD executed His judgment against Tyrus which was that symbol of economic strength and stability among the nations, He would also execute judgment against the king of Tyrus, and would cause him to be cast down into the pit, and to be brought low. When the LORD would execute judgment against Babylon, and would execute His wrath and power against this great military might and strength in the midst of the earth, the LORD would also execute judgment against and upon the throne of Babylon, as well as the king which sat upon that throne. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for much of the prophetic word which would be spoken by the prophet Ezekiel concerning Ezekiel would be against Pharaoh king of Egypt, thus intrinsically linking Pharaoh the king of Egypt to the land of Egypt. In other words, one might say that the king and ruler represented the nation and kingdom itself, and that judgment against the king and against the throne would be judgment against the entire land itself.
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close, I find it absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the sovereignty and supremacy of the one true and living God over nations, kingdoms and empires—and not only over such realities as these, but also over thrones and the kings which sit upon them. The LORD of hosts can indeed humble and abase that which symbolizes economic strength and stability, and the LORD can topple the economies of the nations and of the world in a single stroke and single act. When the LORD cast Tyrus into the midst of the seas it would send shock waves which would reverberate within and among the nations, as the fall and collapse of Tyrus and its economy would directly impact and affect the nations and peoples round about it together with their economies. What’s more, is the LORD would execute judgment against Babylon which was the most powerful kingdom and empire in the midst of the earth at that time, and would raise up another kingdom and empire in its place. How absolutely astounding and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that the LORD can cause one kingdom and one empire to be cast down to the ground and be overthrown, and He can raise up another kingdom and empire to take its place. This is something worth noting and recognizing, for it demonstrates the absolutely wonderful that not only is the LORD sovereign and supreme over nations, kingdoms and empires, but He can also cause one to fall and another one to rise in its place, or cause all to fall like dominoes in the midst of the earth. What’s more, is the LORD can indeed and can in fact completely and utterly shatter any and every trace of false confidence in the midst of the earth, and can completely and utterly remove that which we place our trust and confidence in rather than God. THE GOD WHO CAN BRING ECONOMIC STRENGTH TO NOTHING! THE GOD WHO CAN OVERTHROW ONE KINGDOM AND RAISE UP ANOTHER IN ITS PLACE! THE GOD WHO CAN HUMBLE THAT FALSE STRENGTH AND FALSE CONFIDENCE WITHIN OUR HEARTS AND LIVES! Oh that we would read these words and come face to face with the awesome reality and truth that the living and eternal God can indeed and can in fact humble and bring down kingdoms and empires, thrones and kings, powers and nations in a single day, in a single hour, and even in a single moment. Oh that we would humble ourselves in the sight of such an awesome and powerful God, and that we would take a lesson from the nations, kingdoms and empires of the earth, for there is not a doubt in my mind the LORD of hosts is in this generation toppling economies and that which represents economic strength and stability, the LORD is toppling and bringing down low nations, kingdoms and empires, and the LORD is destroying any trace and any sign of false trust and false confidence within and among the nations—and especially within the hearts and souls of His people.