Scripture reading – Ezekiel 25-27
The focus of today’s devotional turns from God’s judgment of Jerusalem and Judah for their disobedience and idolatry, to those nations that were adversaries of Israel down through the centuries.
Ezekiel 25 – God’s Judgment of the Nations to the East and West of Jerusalem
Israel and Judah had rebelled and turned from the LORD and His judgment had befallen the nation as He had promised. Nevertheless, the LORD vowed He would not forget the oppression and hardships perpetuated by other nations against His people.
Having seen the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, the heathen nations rejoiced in the sorrows and sufferings of God’s people as they were taken captive. The LORD, however, took no pleasure in judging Judah and He despised the heathen who rejoiced in the sorrows of His people.
Through His prophet Ezekiel, God warned the Ammonites (25:1-7), Moabites (25:8-11), Edomites (25:12-14), and Philistines that His judgment of Judah should serve notice of His wrath against the nations that found pleasure in the sufferings and sorrows of His people (25:15-17).
The Ammonites, descended from Lot’s incest with his daughters, had been a constant adversary of Israel and they cheered when Babylon (“men of the east”), took possession of the land and desecrated the Temple (25:2-4). Ezekiel was to warn the people of Ammon that they would be cut off, perish, and cease to exist (25:5-7)
The Moabites, like the Ammonites, were descended from Lot’s incest with his daughters. Moab had mocked Judah and allied with Babylon (25:8-11). Like the Ammonites, they would be overcome by Babylon and would no more be a nation (25:10-11).
The Edomites, descendants of Esau, had oppressed Judah and Israel and God promised to punish their vengeful spirit (25:12-13). Ezekiel declared the purpose for God exacting vengeance on Edom for those people to know it was the LORD who had taken vengeance against them (25:14-17).
Ezekiel 26-27 – God’s Vengeance Against Tyrus
God’s displeasure for the nations taking joy in the destruction of Jerusalem continues in Ezekiel 26-27. Tyrus, the sea capital of Phoenicia, would be assaulted by Babylon (26:1-21; 27:1-36; 28:1-19) and the Scriptures go into great detail regarding the siege of that great island fortress. Ezekiel 26 describes the assaults Babylon would make against Tyrus; however, that city would not be completely destroyed until it was conquered by Alexander the Great.
The beauty and wealth of Tyrus is described in detail in Ezekiel 27:1-25. Located on the on the Mediterranean Sea, its harbor was a crossroads for international commerce in its day. Tyrus’ great fall, as well as, the reverberation of the loss of that city’s harbor and its devastating effect on other nations’ and their commerce is described in Ezekiel 27:26-36
Ezekiel prophesied of Tyrus, “thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more” (27:36). Destroyed by Alexander the Great, in 332 B.C., Tyrus was never rebuilt.
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith