Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday, January 27th

Pamela accidentally posted on last Monday's passage, so here's a quick post for today.

Today's scripture focus is Ezekiel 28

Ezekiel 28

English Standard Version (ESV)

Prophecy Against the Prince of Tyre

28 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God:
“Because your heart is proud,
    and you have said, ‘I am a god,
I sit in the seat of the gods,
    in the heart of the seas,’
yet you are but a man, and no god,
    though you make your heart like the heart of a god—
you are indeed wiser than Daniel;
    no secret is hidden from you;
by your wisdom and your understanding
    you have made wealth for yourself,
and have gathered gold and silver
    into your treasuries;
by your great wisdom in your trade
    you have increased your wealth,
    and your heart has become proud in your wealth—
therefore thus says the Lord God:
Because you make your heart
    like the heart of a god,
therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you,
    the most ruthless of the nations;
and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
    and defile your splendor.
They shall thrust you down into the pit,
    and you shall die the death of the slain
    in the heart of the seas.
Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’
    in the presence of those who kill you,
though you are but a man, and no god,
    in the hands of those who slay you?
10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
    by the hand of foreigners;
    for I have spoken, declares the Lord God.”

A Lament over the King of Tyre

11 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God:
“You were the signet of perfection,
    full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
    every precious stone was your covering,
sardius, topaz, and diamond,
    beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
    and crafted in gold were your settings
    and your engravings.
On the day that you were created
    they were prepared.
14 You were an anointed guardian cherub.
    I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
    in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
15 You were blameless in your ways
    from the day you were created,
    till unrighteousness was found in you.
16 In the abundance of your trade
    you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
    and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
    from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
    you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
    I exposed you before kings,
    to feast their eyes on you.
18 By the multitude of your iniquities,
    in the unrighteousness of your trade
    you profaned your sanctuaries;
so I brought fire out from your midst;
    it consumed you,
and I turned you to ashes on the earth
    in the sight of all who saw you.
19 All who know you among the peoples
    are appalled at you;
you have come to a dreadful end
    and shall be no more forever.”

Prophecy Against Sidon

20 The word of the Lord came to me: 21 “Son of man, set your face toward Sidon, and prophesy against her 22 and say, Thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I am against you, O Sidon,
    and I will manifest my glory in your midst.
And they shall know that I am the Lord
    when I execute judgments in her
    and manifest my holiness in her;
23 for I will send pestilence into her,
    and blood into her streets;
and the slain shall fall in her midst,
    by the sword that is against her on every side.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.
24 “And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.

Israel Gathered in Security

25 “Thus says the Lord GodWhen I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. 26 And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”

In Friday's passage (Ezekiel 26-27) we saw that Tyre was to be destroyed, and all her wealth and power would be absolutely no protection against the certain wrath of God.

Today's passage continues the prophesy, but looks specifically at the King of Tyre himself.

Rayburn points out that some commentators things v11-19 refer to Satan, and some think it refers to Adam and the fall of man.   He contends that it doesn't particularly matter which is the case, the point remains the same - pride goes before a fall.

These prophecies were not preached to the people of Tyre themselves.  These prophecies were preached to the Israelites for their benefit and teaching. And they, too, needed a lesson on pride.

Pride is really the love of oneself above all others, including God.  One could say that pride is really the root of all sin, for it is when we take our focus off of God and put it onto ourselves that we fall into sin.  Pride is self-worship.   Oh, we may not say that we are greater than God in words.  But do we live as though God is the only One worthy of worship?

A person does not necessarily deny that God is immeasurably greater than himself, but theoretical admissions of that type are no match for raging self-admiration in the heart....

pride is an offense against right reason. A man can indulge his pride only by intentionally ignoring both his creatureliness and his moral unworthiness; both his finitude, his smallness compared to God and the rest of creation, and his badness as a human being created to be good. The godly have always understood this. They recognized their pride and they recognized how utterly preposterous it was....

the holiest men and women are invariably the most keenly aware of the humiliation they would suffer if others ever discovered the enormity of their moral failure....

The insidious nature of pride is such that men and women rarely appreciate how proud they are and the index of pride’s power over the heart is that even the purest motions of the Christian soul are deeply affected by it. Indeed, it is possible to be proud of one’s confessions of sin and unworthiness or secretly to congratulate oneself on one’s “brokenness.” As anyone knows who has struggled against it, one of pride’s most sinister effects is its dulling our sense of appreciation for the kindness and mercy of God....

It is the power and prevalence of pride as the principle sin of the human heart that explains the concentration on self-denial and humility in the Bible’s teaching of the Christian put pride to death is lifelong work of the most difficult kind..

We get no help from our culture. Pride is a topic of little interest to modern psychology or the self-help industry and self-congratulation has become an accepted art form in the era of the “touchdown dance.” .... Nowadays low self-esteem is very likely to be thought a far more serious problem than pride.

The godly have always known that true goodness requires the killing of their pride and they learned soon enough that there was no gentle way to go about it. It had to be hacked to death....

Nobody gets rid of his or her pride, deep-seated as it is, so integrated as it is into our view of ourselves, without attacking it head-on and giving no quarter. Have you confessed your sins to another recently? There are other reasons constantly to confess our sins to one another, but the mortification of our pride is chief among them.

Though Rayburn doesn't mention this, I think the best way to get rid of pride is not to so much to pursue humility - because that's still about us.  I think the best way is to pursue God, to pursue Jesus, to meditate on Him and all His attributes.  The more we think about Him, the less we can think about ourselves.

Tomorrow's passage: Ezekiel 29-32

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