A Dreadful End for Earthly Treasure

“Now raise a lamentation, and say to Tyre, who dwells at the entrances to the sea, merchant to many coastlands, thus says the Lord God:

“‘O Tyre, you have said,
    “I am perfect in beauty.”
Your borders are in the heart of the seas;
    your builders made perfect your beauty.
They made all your planks
    of fir from Senir;
they took a cedar from Lebanon
    to make a mast for you.
Of oaks of Bashan
    they made your oars;
they made your deck of pines
    from the coasts of Cyprus,
    inlaid with ivory.
Of fine embroidered linen from Egypt
    was your sail,
    serving as your banner;
blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah
    was your awning…

“Persia, Lud, and Put were in your army as your men of war;.. they gave you splendor.  Men of Arvad and Helech… hung their shields on your walls all around; they made perfect your beauty.

“Tarshish did business with you because of your great wealth of every kind; silver, iron, tin, and lead they exchanged for your wares. Javan, Tubal, and Meshech traded with you… horses, war horses, and mules… ivory tusks and ebony… emeralds, purple, embroidered work, fine linen, coral, and ruby… wheat of Minnith, meal, honey, oil, and balm… wine of Helbon and wool of Sahar… wrought iron, cassia, and calamus… saddlecloths for riding… lambs, rams, and goats… the best of all kinds of spices and all precious stones and gold… choice garments, in clothes of blue and embroidered work, and in carpets of colored material…

“’Your rowers have brought you out
    into the high seas.
The east wind has wrecked you
    in the heart of the seas.
Your riches, your wares, your merchandise,
    your mariners and your pilots,
your caulkers, your dealers,
    and all your men of war who are in you,
with all your crew
    that is in your midst,
sink into the heart of the seas
    on the day of your fall…
Now you are wrecked by the seas,
    in the depths of the waters;
your merchandise and all your crew
    have sunk with you.
All the inhabitants of the coastlands
    are appalled at you,
and the hair of their kings bristles with horror;
    their faces are convulsed.

The merchants hiss at you;
    you have come to a dreadful end
    and shall be no more forever.’” Ezekiel 27:2-7,10-22,24b, 26-27,34-36

Necessary is the dealing in earthly goods, but foolish is absorbed accumulation of earthly treasure. It is hard not to be taken with the luxurious bounty of Tyre’s business, and enthralled with the rich texture and variety of colorful, valuable wares. We’re created to be fascinated, and to appreciate God’s gifts with every sense and heartbeat. But we’re also created to hold loosely earthly things and store up treasure in heaven. We become like the idols we make. (Psalm 115:4-8; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Timothy 4:4; 6:17; James 1:17)

What do we treasure most? Attention and affection will tell. This earth and its wares will one day turn to dust. Beware consummation with worldly charms, and surrendering to empty promises! Would we bow the knee, open the hands, surrender desires to be purified, and treasure Christ above all?

“Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.” ~Old Irish, translated by Mary Byrne

Lord, help me wonder at the splendor of things, and hold loosely earthly treasure. You are the pearl of greatest price. (Matthew 13:45-46)

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