The Difference Between a Brave Face and a Bold Face

January 13, 2012 at 11:17 am | Posted in Ezekiel | 4 Comments
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God took Ezekiel’s wife, and told him not to mourn her openly with tears or in how he dressed or in what he ate.

Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.

Ezekiel 24:15-18

This was how God wanted Ezekiel to tell the people to feel about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Then God removed the prohibition against Ezekiel talking.

Chapters 25-28 deal with God’s judgments on the other nations – the gentile (non-Jewish) nations around Israel and Judah. The Ammonites, the Moabites, and the Edomites were all related to the Jews, but they had harbored hatred against God’s chosen people and either attacked them outright, or helped their enemies, and rejoiced at their troubles.

After these prophecies Ezekiel set his face against the enemies of God’s people who did not have that same blood relation to the Jews: the Philistines and the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon. Tyre was especially singled out because of its importance as a center of international finance and shipping.

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;

Ezekiel 27:1-2

In this lamentation – or funeral dirge – there is an extended metaphor, because the city of Tyre was located on land and on an island. We think of funeral speeches as “eulogies” (words of praise), but this was really a condemnation of Tyre, whose great merchants and businessmen, and the naval warriors that protected them, had the wrong type of faith. They depended on their own might for salvation.

The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise. They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness.

Ezekiel 27:9-10 (emphasis added)

There is no wisdom in trusting in physical shields and helmets. God has given us a shield of faith and the helmet of salvation.

The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.

Ezekiel 27:25-26

They would be “dead in the water.”

And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes: And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?

Ezekiel 27:30-32

Ezekiel even compared the king of Tyre to Satan.

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.

Ezekiel 28:12-13

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.

Ezekiel 28:17


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