Ammon … said “Aha!” over my sanctuary when it was desecrated and over the land of Israel when it was laid waste and over the people of Judah when they went into exile … you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel (Ezekiel 25:3b, 6b, NIV)
Moab … Moab and Seir said, “Look, Judah has become like all the other nations.” (Ezekiel 25:8b, NIV)
Edom … took revenge on Judah and became very guilty by doing so (Ezekiel 25:12b, NIV)
Philistia … acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah (Ezekiel 25:15b, NIV)
Tyre … said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,’ (Ezekiel 26:2b, NIV)
As I was reading these scriptures and noticing the penalties and punishments being listed, I decided to go back again and read from a different perspective–the why that prompted the Lord’s response. The Lord speaks out against these places, stating the why behind his justice, and I’ve noted them here.
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘In the pride of your heart
you say, “I am a god;
I sit on the throne of a god
in the heart of the seas.”
But you are a mere mortal and not a god,
though you think you are as wise as a god.
3 Are you wiser than Daniel?
Is no secret hidden from you?
4 By your wisdom and understanding
you have gained wealth for yourself
and amassed gold and silver
in your treasuries.
5 By your great skill in trading
you have increased your wealth,
and because of your wealth
your heart has grown proud.
6 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Because you think you are wise,
as wise as a god,
7 I am going to bring foreigners against you,
the most ruthless of nations;
they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom
and pierce your shining splendor.
8 They will bring you down to the pit,
and you will die a violent death
in the heart of the seas.
9 Will you then say, “I am a god,”
in the presence of those who kill you?
You will be but a mortal, not a god,
in the hands of those who slay you.
10 You will die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners.
I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.’” (Ezekiel 28:1-10, NIV)
I notice lately, in the scriptures I’ve read, how often the Lord is speaking. When I know that: 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NIV), am I listening to be taught, admonished, corrected, and trained?
I read a quote recently that sticks with me: “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.” (Quote credited to an anonymous Navy SEAL)
Lord, when you speak, I want to listen. Help me to identify and root out haughtiness, judgment, apathy, greed, pride and malice from my thoughts and heart. I want to be useful in your kingdom, thoroughly equipped for every good work.