Beginning with yesterday’s reading in Ezekiel we see how God causes the prophet to turn from sending warning messages to Jerusalem – to giving “the word of God’ about other nations. Today (Ch.26) is the first of 3 chapters about Tyre. The prophecy is given “in the eleventh year” [v.1], which is the year Jerusalem is destroyed by Babylon. (Jeremiah 39 v.2)
The prophecy is provoked “because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken … I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste” Leading God to say, “I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations … … they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and … will scrape her soil from her and make her like a bare rock … a place for the spreading of nets” [v.2-5]
Two particular points occurred to us as we read this. First, the people of Tyre had had a special relationship with Jerusalem and its people; they had worked with David and later with Solomon in building the Temple – and that generation had been blessed as a result! (see 2 Sam. 5 v.11 and 1 Kings 5 v.1) But now the people of Tyre are anti-Israel!
Secondly, the prophecy of the destruction of Tyre is fulfilled in 2 stages, the first stage was fairly immediate by Nebuchadnezzar, the second stage was not until about 250 years later in 332 BC at the hands of Alexander the Great. This aggressive warrior used the ruins of the old city and even scraped the soil off the rocks to build a causeway to reach the city that had been rebuilt on an island! This detailed prophecy proved to be totally accurate and the archaeologist’s discoveries in the last 2 centuries have further confirmed our faith in God’s word..
A third point worth noting is in v.7, “For thus says the Lord GOD: behold I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar …”[v.7] Now Babylon is almost due east of Tyre. The fact that danger comes from the north does not necessarily mean it originates in the north. Therefore we should not use ‘direction’ as a conclusive point of evidence when trying to identify those who attack Israel when we come to read Chapters 38 and 39.
Finally, those who rejoice as Tyre did, when they see Jerusalem in trouble should consider what happened to Tyre because of this attitude – but of course they know not the word of God. What is God going to do to our world because of its utter godlessness? Those who know God’s word need to act on what they know. God caused the prophet Zephaniah to proclaim, ”Seek the LORD, all you humble … who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD.” [ch 2 v.3] How well are you seeking these things?