Wednesday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ezekiel 25-27 (NKJV)
25:1 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them. 3 Say to the Ammonites, ‘Hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you said, ‘Aha!’ against My sanctuary when it was profaned, and against the land of Israel when it was desolate, and against the house of Judah when they went into captivity, 4 indeed, therefore, I will deliver you as a possession to the men of the East, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings among you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. 5 And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels and Ammon a resting place for flocks. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.” 6 For thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel, 7 indeed, therefore, I will stretch out My hand against you, and give you as plunder to the nations; I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish from the countries; I will destroy you, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
8 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because Moab and Seir say, ‘Look! The house of Judah is like all the nations,’ 9 therefore, behold, I will clear the territory of Moab of cities, of the cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kirjathaim. 10 To the men of the East I will give it as a possession, together with the Ammonites, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations. 11 And I will execute judgments upon Moab, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”
12 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord GOD.
15 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because the Philistines dealt vengefully and took vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy because of the old hatred,” 16 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will stretch out My hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the remnant of the seacoast. 17 I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I lay My vengeance upon them.”‘”
26:1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem,`Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.’ 3 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:`Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up. 4 `And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. 5 `It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ says the Lord GOD;`it shall become plunder for the nations. 6 `Also her daughter villages which are in the fields shall be slain by the sword. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’
7 “For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people. 8 He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the fields; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a defense against you. 9 He will direct his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10 Because of the abundance of his horses, their dust will cover you; your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen, the wagons, and the chariots, when he enters your gates, as men enter a city that has been breached. 11 With the hooves of his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people by the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water. 13 I will put an end to the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps shall be heard no more. 14 I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken,’ says the Lord GOD.
15 “Thus says the Lord GOD to Tyre: ‘Will the coastlands not shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when slaughter is made in the midst of you? 16 Then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments; they will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be astonished at you. 17 And they will take up a lamentation for you, and say to you:
“How you have perished, O one inhabited by seafaring men, O renowned city, who was strong at sea, she and her inhabitants, who caused their terror to be on all her inhabitants! 18 Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall; Yes, the coastlands by the sea are troubled at your departure.”‘
19 “For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘When I make you a desolate city, like cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you, 20 then I will bring you down with those who descend into the Pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity, with those who go down to the Pit, so that you may never be inhabited; and I shall establish glory in the land of the living. 21 I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again,’ says the Lord GOD.”
27:1 The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2 “Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre, 3 and say to Tyre, ‘You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord GOD:
“O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty.’ 4 Your borders are in the midst of the seas. Your builders have perfected your beauty. 5 They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast. 6 Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks with ivory from the coasts of Cyprus. 7 Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail; Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you. 8 Inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen; Your wise men, O Tyre, were in you; They became your pilots. 9 Elders of Gebal and its wise men were in you to caulk your seams; All the ships of the sea and their oarsmen were in you to market your merchandise.
10 “Those from Persia, Lydia, and Libya were in your army as men of war; They hung shield and helmet in you; They gave splendor to you. 11 Men of Arvad with your army were on your walls all around, and the men of Gammad were in your towers; They hung their shields on your walls all around; They made your beauty perfect.
12 “Tarshish was your merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods.
13 “Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise.
14 “Those from the house of Togarmah traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules.
15 “The men of Dedan were your traders; many isles were the market of your hand. They brought you ivory tusks and ebony as payment.
16 “Syria was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made. They gave you for your wares emeralds, purple, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies.
17 “Judah and the land of Israel were your traders. They traded for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, millet, honey, oil, and balm.
18 “Damascus was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made, because of your many luxury items, with the wine of Helbon and with white wool. 19 Dan and Javan paid for your wares, traversing back and forth. Wrought iron, cassia, and cane were among your merchandise.
20 “Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloths for riding.
21 “Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your regular merchants. They traded with you in lambs, rams, and goats.
22 “The merchants of Sheba and Raamah were your merchants. They traded for your wares the choicest spices, all kinds of precious stones, and gold.
23 “Haran, Canneh, Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Assyria, and Chilmad were your merchants. 24 These were your merchants in choice items—in purple clothes, in embroidered garments, in chests of multicolored apparel, in sturdy woven cords, which were in your marketplace.
25 “The ships of Tarshish were carriers of your merchandise. You were filled and very glorious in the midst of the seas. 26 Your oarsmen brought you into many waters, but the east wind broke you in the midst of the seas. 27 Your riches, wares, and merchandise, your mariners and pilots, your caulkers and merchandisers, all your men of war who are in you, and the entire company which is in your midst, will fall into the midst of the seas on the day of your ruin. 28 The common-land will shake at the sound of the cry of your pilots. 29 All who handle the oar, the mariners, all the pilots of the sea will come down from their ships and stand on the shore. 30 They will make their voice heard because of you; They will cry bitterly and cast dust on their heads; They will roll about in ashes; 31 They will shave themselves completely bald because of you, gird themselves with sackcloth, and weep for you with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. 32 In their wailing for you they will take up a lamentation, and lament for you: ‘What city is like Tyre, destroyed in the midst of the sea? 33 When your wares went out by sea, you satisfied many people; You enriched the kings of the earth with your many luxury goods and your merchandise. 34 But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters; Your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst. 35 All the inhabitants of the isles will be astonished at you; Their kings will be greatly afraid, and their countenance will be troubled. 36 The merchants among the peoples will hiss at you; You will become a horror, and be no more forever.'”‘”
Even though it appears that the kingdoms of unbelievers are prosperous, all things are given and taken by the Lord. He allows the wicked to receive good things in His creation, but they are still subject to His judgment if they reject Him.
The Lord gives warnings and threats to His chosen people because He wants them to repent and abide in His righteousness. This does not mean that others can despise His people, even if His people are falling because of their sins. God wants all men to repent and be saved. He desires that all nations would hear His Words and walk according to His righteousness, so no man and no nation has the right to mock those who the Lord is trying to save.
Satan tempts us to compare our state to others. Sometimes we find ourselves lacking earthly things while we are trying to be faithful, but we see others who are sinful and rebellious who have an abundance of earthly goods. Satan would gladly have us confused and compromising for the sake of food and clothing, rather than seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness above all other things. Or, the devil would have us ridicule those who do end up suffering outward consequences for their mistakes. In either case, we are forgetting that God loves the world, and Christ came to take away the sins of the world. So let us pray that He make our hearts and minds right to desire that which is His will!
We pray: O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee, mercifully grant that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.