Ezekiel 27 has the prophet delivering the message of Tyre’s coming demise. He spends a majority of the chapter recalling the glory days of this coastal city. “O Tyre, you have said, I am perfect in beauty”. They have had a good gig going at Tyre. It was a prosperous commercial city which is likened to a magnificent merchant ship, beautifully made from best quality materials taken from all parts of the trading world. Her planks, masts, oars and decking were made of the best timbers, her sails from the finest linen, her colours of the most expensive dyes. Tyre was quite a place.
And it wasn’t just the physical city that was amazing. Tyre also was a spot filled with people from all around the world. It was a hub of merchant activity. The oarsmen, sailors and craftsmen who worked there were highly skilled men drawn from many countries. It was a bustling and very successful place. Tyre’s prosperity appeared to be secure, for the city was well defended by an army of hired soldiers chosen from many countries. Things were going quite well until Ezekiel shows up with this message. The city’s commercial strength was unequalled.
Countries from the west to the east, from the north to the south, traded with Tyre. The trade covered an enormous range of merchandise, from minerals to animals, from spices to slaves. They had a lot going on and truly were the center of the day in many ways. Tyre’s great commercial enterprise brought with it great danger. The ship became overloaded and, when caught in a storm at sea, sank. All its merchandise was lost and all its crew drowned. God is going to change things. “When your wares went out from the seas, you satisfied many peoples; with the abundance of your wealth and your merchandise you enriched the kings of earth”.
Life was good when things were going well. But when trouble comes, it quickly changes. They go from the hub to a city that people are not happy with. “Now that you are broken by the seas In the depths of the waters, your merchandise and all your company have fallen in the midst of you”. We sometimes think we have it all under control. But like Tyre, only God truly has control. Things can change and those who were with us yesterday can be against us today. Tyre is going from the center of their universe to falling off the grid. “You have become terrified and you will cease to be forever”. We must be careful not to believe our own press and think we have control of the future. God alone has that!