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Bible Pathways 9/8/2000

September 8

Ezekiel 25 -- 28

The records of prophetic judgments against Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia are comparatively short; but the prophecy against Tyre covers almost three chapters (Ezekiel 26:1 -- 28:19). Along with Babylon and Egypt, Tyre was a world power in Ezekiel's day.
Tyre was one of the richest cities of the world. Its wealth was not gained from war, like that of Babylon, but from trade among the nations. Its fleet of ships was the greatest of all nations and it provided a vital link between East and West. Ezekiel revealed that in the eleventh year (of Zedekiah's reign) . . . the Word of the Lord came to me, saying . . . I am against . . . Tyre (proud queen of the seas) (26:1-3). God foretold that it would be fully destroyed, not only because of its immoral idolatry, but also because of its jealousy and envy toward the chosen city of God. This Phoenician city anticipated that it would gain what Jerusalem was about to lose in economic trade, saying: I shall be replenished (prosper), now that she (Jerusalem) is laid waste (26:2). Tyre was rejoicing over the downfall of Jerusalem because it reduced its competition and made its merchandise all the more valuable.
A detailed prophecy concerning the destruction of Tyre leaves no doubt that only a God who ruled every detail on earth would be able to say: They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her (bare) like the top of a rock. It (her island capital) shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it. . . . I will bring upon Tyre Nebuchadnezzar . . . and much people. . . . They shall lay your stones . . . in the midst of the water. . . . You shall never be rebuilt (26:4-5,7,12,14).
Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre for 13 years and fully destroyed the mainland city. However, during that long siege, the city's administration and much of its wealth was moved to the offshore island section of the city. After the Chaldean invasion under Nebuchadnezzar, Tyre was never again a world power. More than two centuries later, Alexander the Great besieged Tyre, which was then just an island city nearly half a mile from the mainland. Since Alexander had no fleet, his men used the stones, timber, and dirt from the ruins of the ancient walled mainland city to build a causeway 200 feet wide in order to reach the island and destroy it. Today only the dark reefs off the shore of modern-day Tyre (in Lebanon) are a reminder of the once proud city and of Ezekiel's statement: You shall be no more (26:20-21).
Human wisdom and ability enable some people to amass great fortunes, but this often leads to pride and self-sufficiency. Financial stability, economic power, political alliances, and geographic location may provide temporary earthly security, but the truth is that, to his great dismay, no unforgiven sinner will avoid the Judgment of God (Revelation 20:11-13).
This should be a warning to the merchant who rejoices when his competition goes bankrupt or to the "Christian" who is envious of others who seem to be rivals in the church or in the marketplace: Now the works (practices) of the flesh are manifest; they are adultery (immorality) . . . idolatry, witchcraft, hatred . . . strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, divisions . . . envy, murders, drunkenness . . . and the like: of which I have told you . . . that they who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
All things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:18).
Christ Revealed:
As the One who will execute judgment upon Satan (Ezekiel 28:14-19; also Rev. 20:1-10,14).
Word Studies:
25:5 couchingplace means resting place; 25:6 despite means malice, scorn; 26:9 engines of war means battering rams; 26:10 wheels means wagons; 26:17 haunt it means dwell there; 27:12 fairs means wares; 27:21 occupied with means source of; 27:25 did sing of thee in thy market means were carriers of your merchandise; 28:24 grieving means piercing.


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Optional Reading:
Revelation 13

Memory Verse for the Week:
Titus 1:16

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