The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god. Are you wiser than Daniel ? Is no secret hidden from you? By your wisdom and understanding you have gained wealth for yourself and amassed gold and silver in your treasuries. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud. “ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor. They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die a violent death in the heart of the seas. Will you then say, “I am a god,” in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a mortal, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you. You will die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners. I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord .’ – Ezekiel 28:1-10
The core issue in this passage is pride. The pride of the king of Tyre, and the pride of all who are reading the passage. Water comes in a couple of times in the form of the sea. The king of Tyre seems to think that he rules the seas, God has another idea.
The main character here is still Ezekiel, but he is sharing a prophecy with the king of Tyre who apparently has an overinflated view of himself, “In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas””. This sounds like a “self-made” man who is successful by all earthly measures.
In previous passages the heart has been used metaphorically to represent the soul. So God is saying to the king that his soul is full of pride about his power and position. He is so full of himself that there is no room for God. He also apparently thinks he is as wise as God, a dangerous position to be sure.
God tells the king that he should prepare for a wake-up call in the form of foreigners invading and sending him to the “depths of the pit” and the “heart of the seas”. I am not sure exactly what this means, but it doesn’t sound good.
It seems that the root of the king’s pride is wealth acquired through “great skill”. This king was the successful day trader of his day.
The take-home message for me here is that we should be always be examining ourselves and our hearts to be sure there is room for God. We should also be wary of attributing our success to our own ingenuity and intelligence.
Prayer: Help to make room in my heart for you and see the ways that pride is getting in the way.