When you have success in your initiatives, what does your attitude reflect? When God grants you favor, what is your response? When your enemies are met with disaster, do you gloat over them? When those who stand in your way stumble and fall, do you rejoice?

Tyre was a port city of the Mediterranean Sea and dominated the world with its commercial enterprise. The city was a powerful center of trade responsible for the financial success of many Near East civilizations. Prior to Israel’s split, King Hiram of Tyre supplied timber and skilled craftsmen to King Solomon for the construction of the temple and palace grounds in Jerusalem.

At the time of Ezekiel’s oracles concerning Tyre, the current prince was Ithobal, or Ithbaal II. His name implies that he was a devout follower of Baal, a god commonly worshiped by the Phoenicians. However, it wasn’t his idolatry that caused him to be the recipient of God’s judgment. Instead, it was his pride.

When Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon conquered Jerusalem, Ithbaal saw Judah’s demise as an opportunity for economic growth (Ezekiel 26:2). He disregarded the longstanding relationship Tyre had with Jerusalem and rejoiced in an opportunity for selfish gain. While Tyre’s sea merchants conducted a substantial amount of business through the Mediterranean, the land of Canaan maintained most of the land routes. The fall of Judah cheapened taxes for Tyre’s trading, which translated into higher profits for the kingdom.

Ithbaal, in his great economic prowess, had created a wealth-generating empire. However, that wasn’t enough. He wanted more, and he was okay if it was at the expense of others. Unfortunately, his financial success blinded him to his own pride, which corrupted his wisdom (Ezekiel 28:17). For Ithbaal’s pride, Ezekiel prophesied the decimation of Tyre by the Babylonians.

God may give you success in your career, finances, or other areas of your life. Additionally, there is a certain amount of wisdom for acquiring that success along with maintaining it. However, that wisdom can soon become pride if our response to success isn’t one of humility and thankfulness to God. Furthermore, our success should never include the rejoicing of another’s failure. We must never forget that our success is not solely based on market conditions, mergers, or our ability to produce. While those things may be the avenue that God uses to bring success, in the end, our victories are a product of God’s grace and goodness. Nothing more, nothing less.