Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally.
I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.
I’m just as happy with little as with much,
with much as with little.|
I’ve found the recipe for being happy
whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.
— Paul (Philippians 4:11-12, The Message)
“I will silence the music of your songs” (v. 13). What a devastating thing to hear from God! Maybe it’s the music lover in me speaking, but that sounds like the ultimate expression of defeat. Your city will be so utterly destroyed, there will be nothing left to sing about. Not even a dirge will be sufficient to tell the tale.
The former chapter of Ezekiel dealt with God’s judgment on four nations who mocked and took advantage of Jerusalem’s destruction. Chapters 16-18 deal with God’s judgment on Tyre, and Chapters 29-32 deal with God’s judgment on Egypt.
It is worth asking why these two nations were singled out for such lengthy treatment, while others get only a few verses. Tyre and Egypt have one thing in common. They were the only two nations who were still resisting Babylon when Jerusalem was destroyed. God used Babylon to do his dirty work, and in resisting Babylon, Tyre and Egypt were resisting Yahweh’s justice.
. . .
Tyre was an interesting city. During Ezekiel’s day, it was located on an Island just off the mainland in the Mediterranean Sea. Being an Island city, it was easier to fortify and much more difficult to attack. Still, God’s justice would prevail even against Tyre. Their song would end.
God told Ezekiel that he would throw nations at Tyre just like the sea throws waves. Nation after nation tried to defeat Tyre, and many fell on her shores. It took a couple centuries until the time of Alexander the great before the city fell. He built a mole from shore to island and conquered. Curiously, sediment collected and modern day Tyre is located on a peninsula in Lebanon.
. . .
I suggested earlier that Tyre and Egypt were judged by God for resisting his judgment that came via Babylon. But that was not the only reason Tyre was judged.
Tyre was a nation who was only concerned for herself. When Jerusalem fell, she was happy—but it was not the happiness of a nation towards a disgraced enemy. Tyre’s happiness grew out of her greed. With Jerusalem out of the way, Tyre would be able to move in and control some major trade routes through the area. Tyre didn’t pause to mourn the loss of Jerusalem: she acted like crazed ancestors at the reading of a will!
Tyre’s end was just as disgraceful as Jerusalem’s. God declared that when she was destroyed, the enemy would take the stones from the buildings and toss them into the sea. All that would be left was a bare rock—something suitable for fishing off of. The song’s over.
. . .
If Tyre’s judgment has anything to say to us it is a warning against greed. This world revolves on greed. The poor want money, the middle class want millions, and the rich want even more. Watch commercials: they are almost exclusively designed to appeal to greed. Sure, it is not named as greed—that would sound uncouth. Call it ambition or just something that you deserve; the reality is the same.
. . .
Lord God, help us to avoid the greed. Give us the courage to defeat greed through radical love and generosity towards even our enemies. In Jesus’ name, Amen.