Tyre was a city by the sea, great and majestic both in appearance and economy. A gateway between Greece and Persia, it became affluent through trade but arrogant in conceit (Ezekiel 28:2). It had become powerful, but its deep-seated confidence was as solid as sludge. “By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, And your heart is lifted up because of your riches” (28:5).
There are a multitude of clichés about the power of “the almighty dollar.” There are, likewise, many warnings about the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10), showing preference to money (James 2:1ff), and the ultimate failure of money (James 5:1ff).
Many see people through green-tinted glasses and often measure value by the size of the wallet. Social clubs fawn over old money, peer groups cater to the big spender, and unfortunately, Christians sometimes use thirty pieces of silver to define everything from fellowship to leadership. The big giver is more beloved than the humble servant whose poverty pushes him to the back pew.
Tyre is an example of a nobody that became somebody to become a nobody again. God tells the Prince of Tyre, “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned” (28:14-16).
We can make excuses for avarice but they won’t float in the fellowship. The greatest shock in judgment may be for those whose lives were a testament to covetousness. Trusting in riches was Tyre’s condemnation; don’t let it be yours.