September 3, 2021
"Your wealth, merchandise, and goods, your sailors and captains, those who repair your leaks, those who barter for your goods, and all the warriors within you..."
“Your wealth, merchandise, and goods, your sailors and captains, those who repair your leaks, those who barter for your goods, and all the warriors within you, with all the other people on board, sink into the heart of the sea on the day of your downfall. The countryside shakes at the sound of your sailors’ cries. All those who handle an oar disembark from their ships. The sailors and all the captains of the sea stand on the shore. They raise their voices over you and cry out bitterly. They throw dust on their heads; they roll in ashes. They shave their heads because of you and wrap themselves in sackcloth. They weep over you with deep anguish and bitter mourning. In their wailing they lament for you, mourning over you: Who was like Tyre, silenced in the middle of the sea? When your merchandise was unloaded from the seas, you satisfied many peoples. You enriched the kings of the earth with your abundant wealth and goods. Now you are shattered by the sea in the depths of the waters; your goods and the people within you have gone down. All the inhabitants of the coasts and islands are appalled at you. Their kings shudder with fear; their faces are contorted. Those who trade among the peoples mock you; you have become an object of horror and will never exist again.” Ezekiel 27:27-36
Today’s passage is eerily repeated in Revelation 18 over a future kingdom (the kingdom of the Great Whore, Babylon) that will seduce the nations with her goods & wares. Lest we simply shake our heads in shame at ancient Tyre, perhaps we should look at how we have imitated her idolatry so that we might avoid her judgment!
“The kings of the earth who have committed sexual immorality and lived luxuriously with her will weep and mourn over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off in fear of her torment, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour, your judgment has come. The merchants of the earth will also weep and mourn over her because no one buys their merchandise any longer - merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine fabrics of linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of fragrant wood products; objects of ivory; objects of expensive wood, brass, iron, and marble; cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine wheat flour, and grain; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and slaves and human lives. The fruit you craved has left you. All your splendid and glamorous things are gone; they will never find them again. The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand far off in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, saying: Woe, woe, the great city, dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls, for in a single hour such fabulous wealth was destroyed! And every shipmaster, seafarer, the sailors, and all who do business by sea, stood far off as they watched the smoke from her burning and kept crying out: “Who is like the great city?” They threw dust on their heads and kept crying out, weeping, and mourning: Woe, woe, the great city, where all those who have ships on the sea became rich from her wealth, for in a single hour she, was destroyed. Rejoice over her, heaven, and you saints, apostles, and prophets, because God has executed your judgment on her!” Revelation 18:9-20