Such a Great Loss

Ezekiel 27:16–36 (NKJV)

16 Syria was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made. They gave you for your wares emeralds, purple, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies. 17 Judah and the land of Israel were your traders. They traded for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, millet, honey, oil, and balm. 18 Damascus was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made, because of your many luxury items, with the wine of Helbon and with white wool. 19 Dan and Javan paid for your wares, traversing back and forth. Wrought iron, cassia, and cane were among your merchandise. 20 Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloths for riding. 21 Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your regular merchants. They traded with you in lambs, rams, and goats. 22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah were your merchants. They traded for your wares the choicest spices, all kinds of precious stones, and gold. 23 Haran, Canneh, Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Assyria, and Chilmad were your merchants. 24 These were your merchants in choice items—in purple clothes, in embroidered garments, in chests of multicolored apparel, in sturdy woven cords, which were in your marketplace.

25 “The ships of Tarshish were carriers of your merchandise.

You were filled and very glorious in the midst of the seas.

26 Your oarsmen brought you into many waters,

But the east wind broke you in the midst of the seas.

The Lord here continues to rehearse the list of nations that had dealings with Tyre.  The city was the hub of an intricate web of trade relations throughout the ancient world, and was powerful and wealthy.*  Therefore, the breaking of the “ship” would have repercussions around the known world, especially Asia Minor.

27 “Your riches, wares, and merchandise,

Your mariners and pilots,

Your caulkers and merchandisers,

All your men of war who are in you,

And the entire company which is in your midst,

Will fall into the midst of the seas on the day of your ruin.

28 The common-land will shake at the sound of the cry of your pilots.

29 “All who handle the oar,

The mariners,

All the pilots of the sea

Will come down from their ships and stand on the shore.

30 They will make their voice heard because of you;

They will cry bitterly and cast dust on their heads;

They will roll about in ashes;

31 They will shave themselves completely bald because of you,

Gird themselves with sackcloth,

And weep for you

With bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.

32 In their wailing for you

They will take up a lamentation,

And lament for you:

‘What city is like Tyre,

Destroyed in the midst of the sea?

33 ‘When your wares went out by sea,

You satisfied many people;

You enriched the kings of the earth

With your many luxury goods and your merchandise.

34 But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters;

Your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst.

35 All the inhabitants of the isles will be astonished at you;

Their kings will be greatly afraid,

And their countenance will be troubled.

36 The merchants among the peoples will hiss at you;

You will become a horror, and be no more forever.’ ” ’ ”

Everyone who had dealings with Tyre would be effected by their fall.  The trade routes would change, or at least be slowed down.  People’s, perhaps even cities’ or nations’, commerce and livelhoods would be impacted.  Financial ruin could ensue.  Fear would spread, and many would be astonished at the fall of Tyre.  Others will deride or speak harshly of Tyre for failing them.  When a major source of revenue, income, profit falls away, it impacts multiplied other layers of entities that depend on the hub for success.  

Think about the consequences of your actions.  Think about the souls that are affected when you are evil, when you sin.  I often say, “sin is not an isolated incidence.”  Instead, sin is a pervasive, insidious weed that runs through an entire field.  Know that your actions affect others, and when one nation falls, it can affect many nations.  Therefore, be responsible for yourself, because others depend on you as well.  So it not not just a loss for one, but for many; such a great loss.  When one falls, many suffer.  How great the fall when a great one falls!

*Allen, Leslie C. Ezekiel 20–48. Vol. 29. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998. Print. Word Biblical Commentary.

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