The Insufficiency of Circumstance, Etc
Ezekiel 28:11-19
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,…

However we may interpret this imaginative passage (see Exposition), there are certain truths which are not only clear, but even brilliant to our sight as we regard it.

I. THE INSUFFICIENCY OF FAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCE. The Prince of Tyro was under such fortunate and enviable conditions that he is drawn by the prophet as a man who dwelt in the garden of Eden, in a perfect paradise; as one clothed with garments that shone with all precious stones; as one who was admitted, like the cherubim of the most holy place, to the very near presence of God; as one that stood, with the illustrious leader of Israel, on the sacred mount, and that saw, with him, the splendor of the Divine manifestation (Vers. 13,14). Nothing was wanting that the craving heart of man could desire; he "sealed up the sum," or he "sealed completeness" (Fairbairn) (Ver. 12). He was "perfect in his ways" (Ver. 15); i.e. not perfect in the ways of wisdom and worth, but of pleasure and honor and privilege. He lacked nothing that would lend beauty or grandeur or delight to human life. But what availed it all without righteousness? No barrier of rocky walls or of surrounding sea would keep out the enemy when unrighteousness had bred corruption (Ver. 15), and corruption had ended in weakness and downfall. No wealth of favoring circumstance, no multiplication of earthly good, even though a man should have (as this king is imagined to have) the choicest advantages of different generations, will secure lasting good; that is only to be gained by righteousness, by a strong and virtuous character, by steadfast piety.

II. THE PERIL OF GREAT EXALTATION. "He that is down need fear no fall;" but he that is exalted may suffer a terrible humiliation - he may be cast out (or down) from the mountain on which he stood (Vers. 16, 17); he, the overshadowing cherub, may be ejected from the holy place, from the innermost chamber of sacred privilege, and be cast forth among the unholy (Ver. 16). Let those who are exalted beware, for there is an abasement possible to them of which the unprivileged have no need to be afraid. And they have no other security than in a humble heart, an obedient spirit, a life of integrity and devotion.

III. THE PENALTY OF PROFANATION. Tyre had "corrupted its wisdom" (Ver. 17); had "profaned its sanctuaries" (Ver. 18). Its traffic should have been, as it might have been, carried on in honesty and equity; but it had been depraved, it had become lawless and dishonest; its streets, that should have been the highways of peaceful industry and happy fellowship, had became the places of violence and iniquity (Vers. 18 and 16). That which was intended for the practice and illustration of virtue and excellence had become the scene and source of wrong and guilt. Therefore the righteous Judge would "profane" it (Ver. 16; Fairbairn), would "cast it out as profane" (Authorized Version); the fires of retribution would devour it (Ver. 18); its sad and shameful end would excite the awe and even the terror of the beholder (Ver. 19). Profanation means penalty. If we do wrong to that human spirit of ours which comes to us from God, and in which we may closely resemble him; if we defile that human body in which the Son of God himself was once clothed, and which should be the very sanctuary or temple of the Divine; if we profane that human life of ours which should be so sacred in our sight and may be so charged with blessing and crowned with fruitfulness and beauty; - then may we expect the severe condemnation and the serious visitation of the righteous Ruler of mankind. We have then "sinned "(Ver. 16); "iniquity is found" in us (Ver. 15). And there will come the wages of sin, the brand of iniquity - loss, sorrow, shame, death. But to the penitent there is reconciliation and return; for though "the wages of sin is death," yet "the gift of God is eternal life." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

WEB: Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

The Glory and Shame of Eden Reproduced
Top of Page
Top of Page