READING: Ezekiel 28-30
Ezekiel 28:11-19 is a debated text. Some scholars see these verses as simply a lament against the literal king of Tyre. Others see the verses as an account of the fall of Satan. It’s not easy to determine the best understanding of this text, but I land here: the text refers to the king of Tyre, but understood behind the curtain is someone to whom the king of Tyre is compared — and whose description seems to exceed a typical human being. This one was “in Eden, the garden of God,” and he was “anointed as a guardian cherub,” blameless in his way until wickedness was found in him (Ezek 28:13, 14, 15). He was “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezek 28:12). Yet, his heart became proud, so God said “I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you”; “I threw you to the earth” (Ezek 28:16, 17).
It is seldom that I include others’ direct thoughts in these devotions, but this writer’s words are helpful to me:
"Who, then, was the person whose character was like the king of Tyre that fulfilled the elements of vv. 12–17? The serpent was known for his craftiness (Gen 3:1), his deceit, and his anti-God attitude (3:4), leading humanity to sin (3:6–7). Elsewhere he is presented as a deceiver (Rev 12:9; 20:2), an instigator of evil (John 13:2, 27), one who seeks worship as a god (Luke 4:6–8; 2 Thess 2:3–4), and one who seeks to get others to renounce God (Job 2:4–5). He appears as an angel of God (2 Cor 11:14) and as the father of lies and violence (John 8:44), distorts Scripture (Matt 4:6), opposes believers (2 Cor 2:11), and finally is judged (Matt 25:41; Rev 19:20–21; 20:13–15). Therefore the conclusion that the figure behind the poetic symbol is the serpent (also known as the adversary, the devil, Satan; Rev 12:9) is a logical one.”
Thus, this evil one who was filled with violence, pride, and corrupted wisdom was the power behind the throne of the king of Tyre. Here’s the major point today, though. We can debate all day about Satan’s origin and his fall, and we will not always agree. What we do know is that the enemy we face is a defeated foe. God cast him from heaven once, and He will ultimately cast him into the lake of fire (Rev 20:10). The enemy has never been, is not now, or ever will be off God’s leash.
We are already on the winning side.
- If you want to do further study on this topic, check out other commentators on this chapter. Even if you disagree with my conclusion about Ezekiel 28, we can still rejoice that the enemy is defeated.
- When temptation comes today, don’t let a defeated enemy win.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You that You have already won the battle on our behalf. Thank You for being our Divine Warrior.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezekiel 31-33
* Cooper, L. E. (1994). Ezekiel (Vol. 17, p. 268). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.