The sovereignty of God! What do we
mean by this expression?† We mean the
supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the Godhood of God. To say that God is
sovereign is to declare that God is
God.† To say that God is sovereign is to
declare that He is the Most High, doing according to his will in the army of
heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, so that none can stay His hand
or say unto Him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:35).† To say that God is sovereign is to declare
that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that
none can defeat his counsels, thwart His purposes, or resist His will (Ps.
115:3).† To say that God is sovereign is
to declare that He is ďThe Governor among the nationsĒ (Ps. 22:28), setting up
kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as
pleaseth Him best,† To say that God is
sovereign is to declare that He is the ďOnly Potentate, the King of kings, and
Lord of lordsĒ (I Tim. 6:15).† Such is
the God of the Bible.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††Arthur W. Pink
Ezekiel declared the judgment of God against the nations
that surrounded Judah.† Until this point in his prophecy Ezekiel
focused on the judgment of Judah
and, to a lesser degree the people of Israel.† Now, however, the prophet turned his
attention to the Lordís displeasure with the pagan nations of the Middle
East.† In particular, he
centered his thoughts on the haughty and violent sins of Judahís
neighbors.† It is clear from this section
that God did not approve of the pagans rejoicing over the destruction of Judah.
†Perhaps they believed that the fall of Judah
signaled the superiority of their idols to the God of Judah.† They could not have been more mistaken.
In Ezekiel 2-32, God asserted his sovereignty over the
nations of the earth.† They did not
possess the spiritual and moral light that God had entrusted to Israel,
but the Lord held them accountable for their considerable sin.† Above all, these nations took pride in their
military prowess and their political security.†
Foolishly, they believed that the greatest threat to their security was
the military ascension of other nations (like the Babylonians and Assyrians).† They feared insulting the kings of the earth,
but they thought little of offending the Lord of Hosts.† Ezekiel made clear that God would punish the sins
of the nations, just as he pledged to judge the transgressions of Judah.
Ezekiel initially turned his piercing, prophetic gaze on
several small nations that bordered Judah:
Edom, and Philistia;
then, the prophet set his attention on two major powers in the region: Phoenicia
(Tyre and Sidon)
and Egypt.† No nation was too small to escape the
attention of the Lord, and no nation was too powerful to wiggle out of† Godís grip of judgment.††† The prophet asserted Godís sovereignty over
all the nations, great and small.
A Brief Historical and Geographical Background of the
Nations God Intended to Judge
This nomadic culture descended from the incestuous relationship between Lot
and his youngest daughter (See Genesis -38).† Their society centered on the city of Rabbah,
and was located east of the Dead Sea in modern-day Jordan.† The Ammonites had constant territorial
disputes with Israel,
and the relationship between the two nations was often strained.
the descendants of Lotís relations with his oldest
daughter, lived in a small, fertile area just east of the Dead
Sea and south of Ammon.†
Unusual climate conditions rendered Moab
more fertile than many other areas in the region, and the inhabitants
raised cereal crops.† Generally, the
Israelites and Moabites got along well, but periods of peace were
occasionally punctuated by hostility.
The Edomites, descendents of Esau (See Genesis 25:30), lived in an arid
region south of the Dead Sea.† Again, the Edomites generally regarded Israel
as a close relative, but periodic bloody warfare broke out between the
nations on occasion (particularly intense during the period of the United
The Philistines inhabited the land east of Judah,
and hostility characterized most of the relations between these people and
Israel.† Five cities made up the Philistine
confederation, and they enjoyed considerable military prowess for many
and Sidon:† The two chief cities of Phoenicia
were Tyre and Sidon.† †Both
cities were known for their sea power and trade, and they were
strategically located to the northeast of Israel.† During the reign of Solomon, Israel
enjoyed a warm relationship with these cities, but, of course, the
relationship had soured by the time of Ezekiel.
This once powerful nation had declined somewhat during Ezekielís day.† The Egyptians still dominated much of Northern
Africa, but they struggled with the Assyrians and the
Outline of the
I.Godís Displeasure with the Small Nations that
Judgment on Ammon (vv. 1-7)
mocked the people of Israel
and Judah (vv.
pledged to destroy Ammon (vv. 4-7).
Judgment on Moab
sinfully rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem
had no hope of restoration after Godís judgment (vv. 9-11).
Judgment on Edom
relished a long-standing hatred against Judah
promised destruction for the people of Edom
††††††††††††††††† D. Godís
Judgment on Philistia (vv.15-17)
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1.†† Philistia treated Judah
with contempt and vengefulness (v.15).
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2.†† God promised to take vengeance of his own
II.Godís Displeasure with Tyre
and Sidon (26:1-28:26)
Judgment on Tyre (26:1-28:19)
mocked the fall of Jerusalem
planned to use Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Tyre
raised a song of lament for the once glorious city of Tyre
promised to judge the king of Tyre
raised a song of lament for the king of Tyre
Judgment of Sidon (28:20-23)
will be glorified in Sidon (28:20-24)
promised to judge Sidon with pestilence
and the sword (28:23-24).
pledged to re-gather and restore Israel
III.Godís Displeasure with Egypt
would be judged for its cruelty toward Godís people (29:1-16).
raised up the Babylonians to devastate Egypt
allies of Egypt
will be destroyed (30:1-19)
planned to bring judgment against Pharaoh (30:20-26).
will be cut down like a great tree (31:1-18).
composed a song of lament for Pharaoh (32:1-32).
nations will be astonished at the desolation of Egypt
will use the Babylonians to judge Egypt
and her allies will be cast down to the pit (32:17-32)
Observations on the
The pagan neighbors of Judah
took delight in the chastening that God brought upon his people. †They mocked the people of Judah,
and the Lord took offense at the haughty, unseemly attitude of these
nations.† Often, we may be tempted
to take some secret delight in the misfortune of others.† Perhaps, we reason, they deserved the
hardship that has overtaken them.†
Godís people must not relish the suffering of others, even if they
ďdeserveĒ the hardship.† Humility
should characterize our attitudes toward the sufferings of others.†
17) The Philistines held Judah
in longstanding contempt.† Their perpetual
bitterness produced a spirit of spiteful vengeance in the
Philistines.† Consider the damage
that bitterness and vengefulness can produce in the heart.† The ďacidĒ of resentment can consume a
person. The vengeful person broods over and nurses his bitterness.† He believes he has every right to his
ungodly attitude, and he convinces himself that his spirit and actions are
justified.† Above all, vengeance is
idolatry.† It seeks to assume the
place of God.† Our text reminds us
that vengeance belongs to the Lord.†
We must leave these matters in the hands of an all-knowing,
and 28:2,5)) The city of Tyre
viewed the destruction of Jerusalem
a bit differently than did the people of Philistia.† No doubt, they took delight in Judahís
chastisement, but they saw the fall of Jerusalem
as an avenue of financial advancement. They anticipated that the decline
of Jerusalemís economic
importance would lead to additional trade for Tyre.† The spiritual dimensions of Jerusalemís
fall carried little weight with the men of Tyre.† They were carnal, greedy men.