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Bible Pathways 9/8/2001

September 8

Read 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 toward the chosen city of God. Tyre was rejoicing over the downfall of Jerusalem because it reduced competition and made its merchandise all the more valuable, saying: I shall be replenished (prosper), now that she (Jerusalem) is laid waste (26:2).

A detailed prophecy concerning the destruction of Tyre leaves no doubt that only God, who rules 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. . . . 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 exactly as prophesied -- a reminder of Ezekiel's prophecy: You shall be no more (26:20-21).

Human wisdom and ability enable some people to amass great fortunes, which often lead to pride and self-sufficiency. Financial stability, economic power, political alliances, and geographic location may seem to provide earthly security; but Tyre should be a warning to the merchant who rejoices when his competition goes bankrupt or to the "Christian" who resents the success of his "rivals" in the church or in the marketplace: Now the works (practices) of the flesh 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).

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; 26:9 engines of war means battering rams; 26:10 wheels means wagons; 26:17 haunt it means dwell there.

Prayer Needs:
Government Officials: Rep. Mark Adam Foley (FL), Rep. Bernard Sanders (VT), and Rep. Michael Simpson (ID) · Pray for Harold Holdbrook, Missionary in Ghana · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Mary Eliza"Beth" Reece · Country: Vietnam (77 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Vietnamese and French · Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter · 65% Buddhist and Buddhist sects; 7% Roman Catholic; 4% belief in evil spirits and ancestor worship; .4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the Lord for all things (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Optional Reading: Revelation 13

Memory Verse for the Week: I Timothy 6:9

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