Today's devotion from Ezekiel 27. As chapter 27 opens, we see God addressing Tyre once more. There was a history between Tyre and Israel, but that chapter had closed by Ezekiel's day. Yet, we see a continued frustration with Tyre by the continuing declarations against them. Chapter 28 will introduce further reasons, like their king's assertion that he is a god, but as we read the words of this chapter the central theme appears to be arrogance.
Their's is an accusation that comes full circle. "I am perfect in beauty," they declared. The rulers and people of Tyre looked upon themselves with the same infatuation as the mythical Narcissus, and the cost would be the same. By the end of the chapter, God has declared, "These who trade among the peoples scoff at you; you have become an object of horror and will never exist again." (Ezekiel 27:36, CSB)
In between, we are told that there was truth to their claims of beauty. Their realm in the heart of the sea was filled with skilled craftsmen and sailors. They built wondrously adorned ships with embroidered linen and colorful fabrics. Their ability and location led to prosperity which drew yet others toward them and further enriched them.
What happened? Not many years after this prophecy, Babylon took notice of the beauty of Tyre.
These words should serve as a reminder for us. We may have some noticeable aspect or trait that draws the praise of men and stirs our own prideful hearts. However, all that we pride ourselves in can be gone the next moment. Health, money, fame, power, each of these and more come to mind, but what of lesser pride? We may not be rich, but do we pride ourselves in being self-sufficient and able to provide for ourselves? Even this can vanish in an instant.
In all, it is best to leave hubris alone, and, instead, cultivate a deep dependence upon God. He is the only faithful and steadfast aspect of our lives. He alone is eternal and unwavering.
Does this sting a little? Why not take a moment to humble yourself before Him? Why not develop a dependent attitude voluntarily before life or circumstances force your hand? I'm not saying that if you do, then you won't know difficulty. I'm just saying that getting knocked down hurts a lot less when you're already kneeling in prayer.