God continues to judge the nations for their sins, and God also proclaims judgment against Satan.
Ezekiel Chapter 28
Lessons from the text
The Sin of Beauty In this chapter, God states that Lucifer’s beauty and brightness caused him to be lifted up in his own heart. This gives a profound warning that beauty and excellence can lead to pride; because of our gifts, we can become prideful.
Who created Lucifer? God. Who made Lucifer beautiful? God. Who made Lucifer proud? Lucifer.
This points to the solution to perhaps one of the greatest challenges in the Christian doctrine: If God is perfect, why did He create Lucifer who would become Satan. This line of thinking casts doubts on God’s character, for it suggests that God created Satan and even sin.
God did not create sin. God did not create Satan. Lucifer created Satan the moment he created sin. Yes, Satan created sin. Consider the following words Jesus spoke when He rebuked the Jews for thinking of themselves as righteous:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Jn. 8:44
Here, Jesus clearly states that Satan was the first liar. But how are we to understand the comment that he was a murderer from the beginning? Did God create a murderer? The key to understanding sin and its creation is to acknowledge that God created free will. By definition, free will states that a being has the ability to choose. For there to be free will, God must have created beings with the ability to reject Him. This does not mean that God made Satan reject Him; it means that God allowed Satan to choose of his own free will if he would or would not serve God.
Every being has within himself the ability to serve God or reject God. God created the potential for sin when He created free will. However, God did not create sin; Satan did that when he chose himself over God. To clarify, God is responsible for His creation’s ability to sin, and He correctly responds to this ability by giving His Son as a sacrifice to redeem any being who chooses to sin. God would be unjust to give us the ability to sin and then not provide a way out. However, Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection at Calvary completely responds to our need for restoration to God. We cannot in any way blame God for our sin; yes, God gave us the ability to sin, but we choose to sin and God even provides a way of escape when we sin. If a person fails to come to God in repentance, it is not God’s fault but that person’s own fault. Returning to the original thought, God grants every being He creates with certain attributes. Beauty, excellences, and talents can be great gifts we can use to glorify God, or they can be snares leading us into pride and rebellion against God. God gives us these wonderful attributes; how we respond to them is up to us.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 God shifts from speaking of the city of Tyrus to the ruler of Tyrus. Noteworthy is that the human king is only the prince of Tyurs; while the man may be considered by humans to be the ruler of Tyrus, there is a higher authority dictating the actions of the city. See verses 11 and 14.
2-10 Because this man has extreme intelligence, he has been able to make decisions that have increased Tyre’s wealth. Congratulating himself on this accumulation of wealth, this man has taken pride in himself, even to the point of thinking himself as powerful and wise as God. (Noteworthy is that God compares his wisdom to Daniel’s wisdom; at this time Daniel has only served in Babylon for nine years and has not yet received any of the prophecies that make him such an important Biblical figure. Knowing the future, God compares this man’s wisdom to the wisdom that Daniel will attain.) Because of this man’s extreme arrogance, God will cast him down. He will degrade him to the lowest of stature, the “uncircumcised,” which are those excluded from the covenant and therefore mercies of God. The Lord even mocks him, stating that when men come to kill him, he will be forced to acknowledge that he is nothing more than a man. Compare with Matthew 23:12.
11-19 God identifies the king of Tyrus not as a human but as a cherub who is perfect in beauty. This is Lucifer (Satan), who was granted great wisdom. He was in the garden of Eden as the snake who tempted Eve (Gen. 3:1-5), and he was created with extreme excellence; God crafted him with such care and brilliancy that the precious stones where mere accents to his beauty. He was given charge to cover the holy mountain of God. Taking into consideration the description of the cherubs found in Ezekiel 10:1-5, Lucifer was the cherub in charge of covering, which is protecting, God’s throne and glory. God had granted Lucifer this tremendous honor and even goes so far as to say that he was perfect in the sense that Lucifer fulfilled his created role perfectly. However, Lucifer sinned. He became prideful of his own beauty and excellence. Deciding that he was equal to God, he defiled himself and his sanctuaries, filling himself with violence and iniquity until ultimately God will turn his own works against him to destroy him. Noteworthy is that Lucifer saw God face to face and yet sinned; it is possible for beings to behold the glory of God and still reject Him as King. This is a grave warning against pride; every human must be very careful to ensure his heart does not become lifted up in pride.
20-21 Zidon (Sidon) is 25 miles north of Tyrus and is also a coastal city of Lebanon and was founded by Zidon the eldest son of Canaan (Genesis 10:15-19).
22-24 God will judge Zidon because it has harassed His people. This is in fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham to bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him (Gen. 12:2-3). Noteworthy is that God once again states that He is judging so that sinners will recognize that He is real and righteous (see note at Ezekiel 25:7).
25-26 God promises restoration to Israel. Even though He has deported them once and is about to deport them again, He promises that one day He will give them peace in their lands. This prophecy will not be fulfilled until after God passes judgments on the nations around Israel, pointing to the future time when all of Israel’s (and therefore God’s) enemies will be destroyed.
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