Tyre-d Out – Part II

by The Doctor

The people of Tyre were happy when bad things happened to other people

“Son of dust, Tyre has rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Ha! She who controlled the lucrative north-south trade routes along the coast and along the course of the Jordan River has been broken, and I have fallen heir! Because she has been laid waste, I shall become wealthy!'” (Ezekiel 26:2-3)

 This is an attitude that’s very common today and perhaps it’s something that you’ve experienced yourself. For example, are you happy when other people meet with misfortune? Are you secretly glad when other people mess up or get into trouble? Remember that this was one of the sins that got the people of Tyre into serious trouble. Be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of secretly being happy when things go wrong for other people. Instead, you should keep in mind these words from Proverbs 24:17-18…

Do not rejoice when your enemy meets trouble. Let there be no gladness when he falls– for the Lord may be displeased with you and stop punishing him!”

The people of Tyre were very materialistic

“‘Merchants come to you from Rhodes, and many coastlands are your captive markets, giving payment in ebony and ivory. Edom sends her traders to buy your many wares. They bring emeralds, purple dyes, embroidery, fine linen, and jewelry of coral and agate… They bring choice fabrics to trade– blue cloth, embroidery, and many-colored carpets bound with cords and made secure. The ships of Tarshish are your ocean caravans; your island warehouse is filled to the brim!'” (Ezekiel 27:24-25)

“Materialism” refers to the attitude of people who have a really strong desire to obtain a lot of money or possessions- especially when it’s done without any concern for God.

Now you don’t have to be super-wealthy to be a materialistic person. For instance, anyone who wants to pile up a lot of stuff like clothes, accessories, music, or gaming equipment (to name a few examples) can be just as materialistic as anyone else. Now it’s certainly not wrong to want to have nice things but those desires become wrong when they become more important than following God.

For a better explanation, check out this story that Jesus once told…

“‘Beware! Don’t always be wishing for what you don’t have. For real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.’ Then he gave an illustration: ‘A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing– he couldn’t get everything in. 

He thought about his problem, and finally exclaimed, “‘I know– I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones! Then I’ll have room enough. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “Friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Wine, women, and song for you!'” 

But God said to him, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. Then who will get it all?’ Yes, every man is a fool who gets rich on earth but not in heaven'” (Luke 12:15-21)

Like the man in this account, the people of Tyre had plenty of money and lots of possessions but inwardly they were totally bankrupt. This is why it’s important for us to own our possessions and not allow them to own us! But even more important is the fact that anyone who allows money, possessions or any “thing” to become more important than God in their lives is committing the sin of idolatry.

The people of Tyre refused to acknowledge God 

Take another look at this Scripture…

“You have used your wisdom and understanding to get great wealth– gold and silver and many treasures. Yes, your wisdom has made you very rich and very proud.” (Ezekiel 28:4-5)

This sounds an awful lot like the same kind of attitude that many people have today. Think about it for a moment- isn’t this same kind of attitude displayed in our world by people who say things like…

  • “I have everything I need so I don’t need God”
  • “Things are going fine for me- I have good health, I have plenty of money- why are you telling me, ‘I need to get right with God?'”
  • “‘God’ is for people who can’t make it on their own”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Listen, no one explained it better than Jesus when He said this…

“What profit is there if you gain the whole world– and lose eternal life? What can be compared with the value of eternal life?” (Matthew 16:26)

You see, people may think that they’re doing ok without God but how many of those same people are inwardly struggling with fear, guilt or the feeling that they are living a totally meaningless life? How many of those people are covering up their inward pain through drug or alcohol abuse?

How many of those same people cope with the difficulties of life by constantly cracking jokes or by making fun of everything or by constantly running away from their problems? The truth is that the person who has money and possessions but no real relationship with their Creator will often experience a lot of these kinds of negative consequences.

Don’t fall into the same trap that the people of Tyre fell into. The citizens of Tyre thought they had everything they needed just because they had a lot of money and things. Because of this they rejected the God who created them and eventually paid a heavy price.

Instead of making that mistake, we would do a lot better to remember the words of Ecclesiastes 11:8-9…

If a person lives to be very old, let him rejoice in every day of life, but let him also remember that eternity is far longer and that everything down here is futile in comparison. Young man, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it! Do all you want to; take in everything, but realize that you must account to God for everything you do.”

So God gave Ezekiel the responsibility to deliver His message to the people of Tyre- a message that gave a very clear warning about the punishment that was going to come down upon the people because of their attitudes and lifestyles…

“Therefore the Lord God says: “I stand against you, Tyre, and I will bring nations against you like ocean waves. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and tear down her towers. I will scrape away her soil and make her a bare rock! Her island shall become uninhabited, a place for fishermen to spread their nets, for I have spoken it,” says the Lord God. “Tyre shall become the prey of many nations, and her mainland city shall perish by the sword. Then they shall know I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 26:3-6).

These things eventually happened just as God had said- but the way they happened makes for an amazing story.