SCHOOL of SUFFERING SERIES PART I1.B
By Augusto Y. Hermosilla
B. SATANIC PRIDE OF ETHBAAL
That root or seed of satanic pride is clearly further echoed and expounded in Ezekiel 28:1-19 (but too long to quote here). Lucifer’s pride, which is like the megalomaniac pride of the tyrannical demigod or ruler named Ethbaal III who claimed deity on top of the Tyre’s hierarchical pyramid of power structure, is also exposed in
2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God.
This denotes the speaker’s great pride. The situation of the island-city, Tyre, full of beauty, in the midst of the blue Mediterranean waters, gives force to the expression. Comparing with the lot of the king of Tyre as having been in Eden in
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
Lucifer was created with like a built-in music to worship God. Lucifer’s pride, represented by the tyrant’s hubris, was further exposed in
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
That’s why, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon warned in
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
The sin of pride is the seed or root or mother of all the sins of the universe. Lucifer’s blind pride, forgetful of his being only a creature, not the Creator, then birthed the sins of envy of God’s highness, greed for more power by trying to usurp God’s place, covetousness and lust of God’s power in trying to steal God’s position and divine possessions, even maybe, even trying to murder God, especially with his deception of the other angels who fell with him from their former positions in God’s order. Satan’s wilful pride wanted him to deify himself, to glorify himself apart from dependence on God’s will when he only wanted his selfish will to be done. A creature trying to play God takes the names of God in vain by not fulfilling the purpose and plan set for that creature by the Creator, a big affront to the holiness, honour, and glory of God.
Ethbaal’s claim, like Lucifer’s, to deity is obviously false, since he is only a mere creature, not the Creator. It’s falsehood is basically the first lie that got birthed with Lucifer’s consummate pride. Like Lucifer, the proud persons’ (e.g., Sennacherib and Ethbaal III) great beauty and power had so corrupted them, making them forget they were just mere creatures, not co-creators, of the Supreme God so as to delude themselves as godlike. There is only One Creator God, and in His holiness, He does not share His quintessential glory with any of His created beings, even if He made them of great beauty, wisdom, and power like Lucifer. Though Lucifer was originally created as a perfect being, God reminded His proud creatures in their existential amnesia, for example, that the tyrant of Tyre was only a man, and not a god, similar to Lucifer’s amnesia of being only a created archangel, not a even god, because there is only ONE God! The powerful demigods blinded and deluded themselves to believe and feel that they were gods with their greatness! Creatures have beginnings and endings, unlike God Who has no beginning nor ending, the only Self-Existent Being even before the existence of other beings in the universe. These deluded demigods felt their great wisdom made them into godlike, particularly, Ethbaal who deluded himself to believe he was way much wiser than Daniel, God’s reputed great prophet with great wisdom who served the Babylonian demigod Nebuchadnezzar, who ultimately defeated Tyre. Daniel, who attributed all his great wisdom to God alone, was obviously way, way much wiser than self-deifying Ethbaal who claimed deity.
God did not let the hubris in playing God of Tyre’s tyrant go unchallenged.
God brought the conquering Babylonians to Tyre, who were more ruthless in mistreating their conquered peoples. Unimpressed with Ethbaal’s great wisdom and beauty, Babylon destroyed him violently in a naval battle. When he was slain by his enemies, evidently, he was not a god. Nebuchadnezzar removed Ethbaal from the highness of his arrogant throne, paying a high price in fighting against Nebuchadnezzar. In fact, since Phoenicians practiced circumcision, Ethbaal died the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of the Babylonians, which was a shameful death. The arrogant king who claimed deity died a very cruel and ignoble death as a mere man!
Ezekiel sparingly used the title “king” to described foreign monarchs, and apart from King Jehoiachim, he never used that title to any of Israel’s monarchs. He only called Ethbaal as ruler, not king, whom he rebuked for claiming deity when he was only a mere man. Ezekiel only used the term king that could not apply to mere man. This kind of “king” that appeared in the Garden of Eden had been an anointed cherub, who possessed free access to God’s presence in His holy mountain, and had been perfect and sinless from the time of his creation. This king decribed Satan, the true “king” of Tyre, not Ethbaal, as Ethbaal’s evil motivator. Satan, who has access to God’s presence, was in the Garden of Eden, and who fell with his chief sin of pride. Thus, the satanic “king” of Tyre was judged for his conceit. Tyre was motivated by the same sin as Satan’s, and would suffer the same fate!
As God originally created him, Satan had perfection and beauty. In fact, he was the model of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty! He was not created as some prime minister of evil, since evil did not yet exist before his fall. As with all of God’s creation, he was created a perfect being — as one of the crowning masterpiece in God’s angelic order. He was given a highly exalted place to be in the garden of God, Eden, the epitome of God’s beautiful creation on earth. His beauty matched Eden’s, as every precious stone adorned him, similar to the gemstones in the breastplate of Israel’s high priest, symbolizing great beauty and high position.
Satan was an anointed guardian cherub, among the “inner circle” of angels who had closest access to God to guard His holiness. He had free access to God’s allegorical holy mount, viz. heaven, and walked among the fiery stones associated with gemstones, which were also part of his attire. These fiery stones are identified by some as God’s fiery wall of protection of His fiery holiness. Satan was seen as dwelling inside or behind God’s outer defences in the “inner courts” of heaven itself. He had access to God’s holy and fiery presence, and God’s holiness is a consuming fire.
As originally created, he was blameless … till wickedness was found in him (Ezek. 28:15), and he sinned (v.16). The self-generated sin of pride perverted and corrupted Satan to become the source and strength of sin in the universe, infected God’s creation, particularly mankind when he deceived Eve. Though created blameless, his sin was pride (see 1 Tim. 3:6), because of his beauty. His splendour spoiled his wisdom, similar to Ethbaal.