Did I get your attention with the title? Thought I might! Through the years I’ve read and heard from childhood the stories of how Satan used to be an archangel in Heaven, became jealous and wanted to usurp God’s position, not being satisfied to be “just an angel”. Eventually he was cast out of Heaven by God. Jesus speaks of this event in Luke 10:18, to his disciples: “And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’” (ESV) So we know in essence that this is the short version of what happened to Lucifer, or Satan, commonly referred to simply as “the devil”.
I decided to dig a bit deeper and see if I could find out in more detail who this creature really was and what happened to anger the Father so much that he actually threw him out of Heaven!
I went to the very familiar account in Ezekiel 28 often attributed to Satan. Verses 12b, – 14a state, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers….” Verse 15 says, “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” Verse 17 adds, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground….” (NKJV)
I was always taught that this is a Biblical account of how the extremely beautiful angel, Lucifer, gave into pride, jealousy and sin, resulting in his expulsion from Heaven, taking one-third of the angels with him, known as demons, harassing and creating havoc in the lives of people who allow them in, those who are unaware of their position in Christ and the protection afforded them through His blood! I still entirely believe this!
But, what surprised me as I was doing research for this article, was “the rest of the story”! Ezekiel 26 – 28 actually contains the Word of the Lord prophesied by Ezekiel against Tyre, a beautiful city located near Nazareth, the crown jewel of the Mediterranean, largely occupied by the descendants of the Israelite tribe of Asher! As we know by reading the historical accounts in I & II Samuel and I & II Kings, Israel and Judah had divided centuries before, had been in and out of war with each other, had separate kings and kingdoms, and, in short, had disobeyed God in most matters. The majority of their kings were wicked; only a handful did what was right in the sight of God, serving Him and leading their kingdoms in His ways; even most of these retained “the high places” (or altars to idols) probably because they were afraid of the repercussions if they destroyed them! It sounds a lot like today…most things allowed to go on in our country and even in our churches remain because of fear! Very few are brave enough to serve God entirely and speak out against sin, following the path of righteousness laid out in His Word! I really don’t think things have changed much from thousands of years ago. Human nature is still the same!
Given this background (I will get back to the story of Lucifer; please bear with me!)….God put upon the heart of the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy evil against many tribes and countries. If you are interested, just begin reading a few chapters back and you’ll see that he went down the line against many kingdoms, pronouncing severe judgments against them if they would not repent! Prophets are not very popular people, needless to say! In Chapters 26 and 27, Ezekiel starts his lamentation against Tyre. In verses 11 and 12 of Chapter 28, we read, Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God:’” (NKJV) Then follow the verses previously mentioned, usually attributed to Satan.
So, I began to wonder about this place called Tyre, and looked it up in Halley’s Bible Handbook. Here is what it says: “Tyre, located 60 miles northwest of Nazareth, was a double city, one part on an island, the other on the mainland in a fertile and welll-watered plain at the western foot of the Lebanon mountain range. A city of incomparable beauty, it was the great maritime power of the ancient world at its zenith, with colonies on the north and west coasts of Africa, Spain and Britain, controlling the commerce of the Mediterranean, with the wares of all nations passing through its port; a city renowned for its splendor and fabulous wealth. With its subjugation by Nebuchadnezzar it ceased to be an independent power. It was later subdued by the Persians; and again by Alexander the Great (332 B.C.). It never recovered its former glory, and has for centuries been a “bare rock” where fishermen “spread their nets”, thus fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ezek. 26:5 & 6).”
The Catholic Encyclopedia continues this horrific tale of woe, stating that Tyre (known as the Mistress of the Mediterranean) was captured by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., after a seven month siege. 6,000 defenders were beheaded; 2,000 were crucified; and more than 30,000 women, children and servants were sold into slavery. In 1291, Tyre was finally captured by the Mussulmans (Turkish and Persian Muslims) and completely destroyed. It was never fully restored and remains a very small community to neighboring Beirut, Lebanon to this day. Its glory days, sadly, were behind it! Could this happen to a “super-power” nation today that has forgotten God and His commandments? I believe it could.
Tomorrow, in Part 2, I am going to explore the connection to Ezekiel’s warning prophecy to the King of Tyre (which unfortunately came to pass in entirety because the wicked did not repent), and Lucifer, the “angel of light” who, it appears, was a musical instrument, as well.