Today: [Ezekiel 28] Who Was Perfect in the Garden of God? Ez. 28 is a classic chapter, paired with Isa. 14 to suggest as theologians maintain what the origin of Satan is. There is however a question to be considered because v. 15 of our chapter declares that this person was “perfect” in the garden of God. The question then must be asked who was perfect in the garden of God and then iniquity was found in him? We often relegate responsibility for the fall to the ursurpation of Satan against the throne, but it is important to realize that man, specifically Adam and all who came after him that bear the weight of that sin burden that can only be lifted in Christ.
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[Eze 28:1-26 KJV] 1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart [is] lifted up, and thou hast said, I [am] a God, I sit [in] the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou [art] a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: 3 Behold, thou [art] wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: 4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: 5 By thy great wisdom [and] by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: 6 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; 7 Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. 8 They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of [them that are] slain in the midst of the seas. 9 Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I [am] God? but thou [shalt be] a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. 10 Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD. 11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
In Ez. 28 we come to the specific denunciation of the king of Tyrus by the prophet Ezekiel. This chapter classically is considered to refer to the fall of Satan and is paired with Isa. 14 and the Lucifer character mentioned there who is brought down to hell for his arrogance. Now why is the king of Tyrus so singled out? Because the line of the kings of Tyre were particularly connected with the kings of the line of David. For the city of Tyre and the king that ruled at the present time to rejoice over the destruction of Jerusalem was particularly treacherous. In 1 Kings 5:1, Hiram king of Tyre was described as a man who was “ever a lover of David”. After David’s death, Hiram partnered with king Solomon to send thousands of laborers, craftsmen and journeymen along with massive amounts of material, both of wood, stone and precious metals to assist in the building of the temple that they people in Ezekiel’s day were rejoicing to now see in dust and ashes. Because the people rejoiced so it is their king that is held personally responsible by God.
Here we see again the judgment of God relating to cities. The city of Tyre is weighed in the balances and found wanting, therefore the king is held responsible, and that is justly so. Let me as you a question: are you a king? Rev. 1:6 and Rev. 5:10 say that you are both a king and a priest. Do you live in a city, or a community? Then you are held responsible by God for what happens in that city. When you stand before God you will give an account not only for yourself but for those you were an influence over or SHOULD have been an influence over. How do you discharge that responsibility? Primarily on your knees. This is what Paul exhorts in 1 Timothy:
[1Ti 2:1-3 KJV] 1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
Why do we pray? Because we are responsible. And the promise of God is that if we pray we will lead a quiet and peaceable life. If we are not leading a quiet and peaceable life where does the responsibility lie? With the alt-right? From a kingdom perspective is it the fault of white nationalists that there is so much upheaval in our nation right now? Is it the fault of the alt left? The word of God according to Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is the discerner. If Charlottesville is no experiencing peace and quiet in an environment of godliness and honesty where is God looking to first? To the saints in Charlottesville. Someone in Charlottesville is not praying. The greatest area of need in Charlottesville is the dearth of prayer, the lack of prayer, not of the sinners but of the saints. Someone in Charlottesville needs to rise up and say “somebody pray!” Because as the king of Tyre was held responsible for what was happening in her midst even so if there are kings present in Charlottesville, they are held responsible by the court of heaven for the unrest in that city. What am I saying? In Charlottesville the voice of God’s people should be speaking louder from a position of prayer than the protesters on either side of the unrest in that city.
What about your city? Is your city experiencing peace and quiet? Is your city found to be characterized by godliness and honesty? If it is – it doesn’t just happen, somebody is praying. If it isn’t those who should be praying and are not are going to be held responsible. We can cluck our tongues and shake our head in disapproval and the condemnation of the king of Tyre, but if we sin after the similitude of Tyre then you tell me who let the devil in?
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never [shalt] thou [be] any more. 20 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 21 Son of man, set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it, 22 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. 23 For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD. 24 And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor [any] grieving thorn of all [that are] round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD. 25 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. 26 And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD their God.
Another reason why the prophet is speaking by the word of the Lord against the king of Tyre is because of his exalted opinion of himself. He claims in verse to saying “I am a god…” This is actually recorded not just in Ez. 28:2 but also in Ugaritic and Phoenician texts that archeologists know are extant even today where the king of Tyrus specifically said “I am El”. Is that what motivated Adam and Eve in the fall. They didn’t just want to be like God, they were already in the image of God. They wanted to be like God independent of God. That was the sin. It is no sin to be like God because all men were created in God’s image. In Eph. 5:1 we are commanded to be followers of God as dear children who clamor to emulate their father in all things. What does that mean? That means that in every circumstance you find yourself in you are going to do what God would do in that situation, knowing that He will then be faithful to back you up because you are a king, subject to and underwritten by the King of kings. If you say it He will do it, if you won’t say it He won’t do it!
The king of Tyre is also called in this chapter an anointed cherub. Archeologists have found hundreds of miles from Egypt, just over 1 mile from the ruins of ancient Tyrus images of the sphinx in the Egyptian style connected with this proclamation of the king that he is “El” the creator god. Other Phoenician scripts exist where the kings descended from Hiram were called by title “Lord of the heavens”. In these sphinx statues there were jewels found corresponding exactly to the jewels mentioned in v. 13 of Ezekiel 28. The jewels listed in v. 13 and the jewels found in the sphinx-cherubim were the exact jewels of the breastplate of the high priest in Jerusalem. Inscriptions found in the area describe and refer to the city of Tyre as the garden of God, and suggest that the sphinx-cherubim were there as guardians of the city. What happened here was that Hiram apparently after assisting in the building of the temple, stole its plans and designs and set up his own lineage and the city itself to be its own depiction of heaven, being like God, independent of God in the fashion of the very transgression Adam and Eve committed that plunged all humanity into sin and death.
How then is Tyrus representing in the judgment written? Is it a fallen angel or does it refer to a man, specifically Adam? Verse 15 suggests that it is actually Adam because it declares that this usurper was perfect and sinless in the beginning and Jesus Himself said in John 8:44 that Satan was a liar from the beginning. So there are suggestions here that Isa. 14 and Ez. 28 are NOT the “Devil made me do it” chapters of the bible. Whatever the generally accepted orthodoxy is concerning the origin and outcome of Satan we should be cautious that our theology does not have the inadvertent effect of absolving mankind of their responsibility for the fall of the human race. It wasn’t the “rebellion” of Satan that resulted in the fall. Paul in Romans said the following:
[Rom 5:19 KJV] 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Notice it wasn’t the devil’s fault. He gets a lot of blame for things that fall on human shoulders in terms of responsibility. It was by “one man’s disobedience” (that is, Adam) sin came into the world. Thus, it was by one man’s obedience God reversed the curse and made salvation possible. You see God fixes things they way they got broken. If it was the devil’s fault as a fallen angel that sin came into the world, then Jesus would must needs have come as an angel to correct the problem (which is exactly what the Mormons believe). But he didn’t do that – He came as a sinless man to pay for our transgressions and redeem us to Himself that we might sit at the right hand of the Father, ruling and reigning not as usurpers like the king of Tyre but as servant sons under the only begotten, perfect sinless son of God.
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