Friday, July 13, 2018

A Cautionary Tale

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 28-30; Psalm 39

TO CHEW ON: “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:15

This part of the “Proclamation Against the King of Tyre” (the title given this chapter in my Bible) sounds a lot like a description of Satan and his fall. Like Lucifer’s (Satan’s) fall is described within the prophecy against the King of Babylon in Isaiah (Isaiah 14:12-21), so it seems to be described here in the prophecy against the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:2-19).

We can learn several things about Satan from this passage:

1. He was beautiful, gifted and favoured:
“You were the seal of perfection
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” - Ezekiel 28:11,12.

2. He was created for a special purpose and assignment:

“The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
You were the anointed cherub who covers’
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God” - Ezekiel 28:13,14.
My Bible’s study notes explain:
'Anointed cherub who covers' indicates high office with authority and responsibility to protect and defend 'the holy mountain of God,' an illusion to God’s throne. The high order and specific placement of Lucifer prior to his fall afforded unique opportunity to bring glory to God. Verse 13 suggests his role included leading heaven’s choirs in worship of the Most HIgh” -  Howard M. Ervin, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1086.

3. His fall came because of pride, unchecked ambition and self-will:
“How you have fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!…
For you have said in your heart:
I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit on the mount of the congregation…
I will… I will…” Isaiah 14:12-14.
“By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub …
Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor
I cast you to the ground…” Ezekiel 28:16,17.

The sobering part of this is that the sins that caused Lucifer to be expelled from God’s presence and thrown out of heaven—pride, ambition, self-will—are no strangers to us. They are what drive many in our society and so easily and readily infect us. Can you say that you are a stranger to them? Neither can I!

Let’s take this sobering account of Lucifer’s fall as a cautionary tale, a warning about the end of pride, personal ambition, and self-will (Isaiah 14:15; Ezekiel 28:17-19; Revelation 12:7-9).

Instead of being captive to these things, let's give ourselves to lifting up and making big the One who is truly praiseworthy and good. Not ourselves but our creator God and all HIs works and ways.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me to detect all whiffs of pride, selfish ambition, and self-will within me. I know their origin and I want no part of them in my life and destiny. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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