Ezekiel 28 and Psalm 77


Ezekiel 28 is an interesting chapter. It is both judgment against Tyre and also a lament for the great fall that she experienced. God recounts the great blessings that he gave to Tyre, riches, in fact he even likens them to being present in the garden of Eden and enjoying rich blessings. Yet Tyre became proud and because of her pride she forgot about God and considered herself a god. D.A. Carson summarizes this chapter,

The iniquitous dimensions of the arrogance are highlighted by the many allusions back to Genesis 2-3 (clearer in Hebrew than in English translation). They thought of themselves as being in Eden, the garden of God (28:13), as being God’s guardian cherub (28:14), but they will be expelled (28:16). In other words, their sin is of a piece with that of Adam and Eve. They, too, wanted to be like God, independent, knowing good and evil themselves without anyone (not even their Maker!) to tell them. In both cases the result is the same: ruinous disaster, death, catastrophic judgment. There is but one God, and he rightly brooks no rivals.1

Later in Ezekiel 28:20-24, the prophecy continues but this time it is judgment against Sidon, a Phoenician city on the Mediterranean coast northwest of Israel. The chapter closes with the promise of protection for the remnant of Israel (Ezkeiel 28:25-26).

This short interlude in the midst of the oracles against the nations serves to remind Israel that they can ultimately look forward to a time of redemption and restoration brought about by Yahweh’s defeat of all their enemies.2


The commentary, Opening Up Psalms does a fantastic job of explaining Psalm 77,

Why would a good past cause Asaph to be so exercised? And the answer is that it made him sharply conscious of how his present circumstances did not measure up. He could look at the past and see marvellous instances of God at work in his life and in the lives of those around him. But the present seemed to be utterly devoid of such instances. It was of such a nature that it appeared as if God had cast him off for ever (Ps. 77:7), had decided to be favourable no more (Ps. 77:7), had caused his mercy to cease for ever (Ps. 77:8), had failed to keep what he had promised (Ps. 77:8), had forgotten to be gracious (Ps. 77:9) and had, in anger, locked up all his tender mercies and thrown away the key (Ps. 77:9).

The good news is that Asaph did not continue in his distress. In Ps. 77:10 he turns the corner and begins to come out of his misery and woe. As he reflected on the past, he began to realize that he had been looking at it in the wrong way. Instead of letting past glory depress him, he should have been letting it bless him. The fact that God had worked mightily in the past meant there was hope for the future. The God of the past had not changed! He is the same God. No matter how great the darkness of present circumstances, it is not greater than God.3

Those are very thoughtful words to remember when present circumstances seem overwhelming and God seems distant.

1 D. A. Carson, For the Love of God: a Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word., vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998).

2 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012), Eze 28:25–26.

3 Roger Ellsworth, Opening up Psalms, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2006), 67.