What does it say?
In our previous reading, Ezekiel deals with the seafaring city-state of Tyre in chapters 26 and 27. As in the case of other surrounding nations, God will judge them for their sins just as he is judging Jerusalem with the Babylonian invasion. Here in chapter 28 Ezekiel gets to the root issue of Tyre’s problem – the unbridled pride of her ruler. Beginning in Ezekiel 28:11 the language swells to seemingly transcend the literal human head of state. Many see this as God literally and directly addressing the Devil that controls the prince of Tyre as a puppet. Others see this as forceful language to show that the Devil is the one controlling the prince of Tyre. Whatever the case, the Bible clearly teaches the existence of the Devil and spiritual warfare far beyond our ability to clearly comprehend. And, it is also clear that Ezekiel’s message implies a diabolic element in the pride of Tyre’s leader.
While not as rich or powerful as Tyre, Sidon is the focus of Ezekiel 28:20-26, another city-state in situated in a fine port just 20 miles north of Tyre.
Ezekiel 29 begins a series of seven prophecies against Egypt that will continue through chapter 32. With the exception of the prophecy in Ezekiel 30:1-19, they are all carefully dated and not arranged in chronological order. Egypt also has a pride problem and will join the other surrounding nations in falling to God’s judgment.
What does it mean?
Throughout our chronological journey through the Bible, we have done our best to see a single story and a single mission. This is a book about God’s kingdom and his desire to fill it with beings to worship and praise him eternally. It is also inescapable that the Bible teaches the existence of a personal being called Satan, the Devil, a fallen angelic being that is dedicated to oppose God’s mission.
Though there is so much we do not understand about spiritual warfare, we cannot deny its reality. Not only wicked people, but also genuine followers of Jesus are susceptible to satanic influence, as in the case of Jesus rebuking Satan for speaking through Peter (Matthew 16:22-23). We also see in this section of Ezekiel that pride is an open door for satanic influence and control in human lives.
How will I respond?
Am I as aware as I should be of the spiritual warfare that surrounds God’s mission and the establishment of his kingdom? Do I have areas of pride or other sins that could provide an open door for satanic influence in my life, even unwittingly? What steps will I take to shut these potential open doors?