A Prophecy About Tyre
1 An oracle concerning Tyre:
Wail, O ships of Tarshish!
For Tyre is destroyed
and left without house or harbor.
From the land of Cyprus
word has come to them.
2 Be silent, you people of the island
and you merchants of Sidon,
whom the seafarers have enriched.
3 On the great waters
came the grain of the Shihor;
the harvest of the Nile was the revenue of Tyre,
and she became the marketplace of the nations.
4 Be ashamed, O Sidon, and you, O fortress of the sea,
for the sea has spoken:
“I have neither been in labor nor given birth;
I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.”
5 When word comes to Egypt,
they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre.
6 Cross over to Tarshish;
wail, you people of the island.
7 Is this your city of revelry,
the old, old city,
whose feet have taken her
to settle in far-off lands?
8 Who planned this against Tyre,
the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants are princes,
whose traders are renowned in the earth?
9 The LORD Almighty planned it,
to bring low the pride of all glory
and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.
10 Till your land as along the Nile,
O Daughter of Tarshish,
for you no longer have a harbor.
11 The LORD has stretched out his hand over the sea
and made its kingdoms tremble.
He has given an order concerning Phoenicia
that her fortresses be destroyed.
12 He said, “No more of your reveling,
O Virgin Daughter of Sidon, now crushed!
“Up, cross over to Cyprus;
even there you will find no rest.”
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians,
this people that is now of no account!
The Assyrians have made it
a place for desert creatures;
they raised up their siege towers,
they stripped its fortresses bare
and turned it into a ruin.
14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish;
your fortress is destroyed!
A Global (and Personal) God
Whew! These prophecies have been tough, but we’re almost through it – and despite their difficulty, I think there have been a lot of good and applicable insights for us to take away.
What is striking about this description in chapter 23 is its geographical breadth: Isaiah mentions Sidon, Tyre, Tarshish (all areas of Lebanon), Assyria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Egypt – this basically covers all of the ancient middle east, and parts of Europe as well. And what we see is the shared fates of these nations, that the hardship of Tyre affects Egypt, which reverberates in Cyprus, and so on. This reminds me so much of our current global economic crisis, how the financial missteps of this nation have rocked countries all around the world…
And at the epicenter of this chaos is God, who orchestrated it all in order to humble the proud, even on an international scale. You see, God is not just working on refining the lives of individuals, nor single nations. He is, in infinite wisdom and with infinite perspective, working on a global scale to accomplish his will. The trials of one nation are used to bring his purposes about in another nation, and to the individuals living there…
This should help us remember the vastness of God’s wisdom and plans, that he is a global God, working to redeem all nations and all creation back to the way he had always wanted them to be. But at the same time, this should also serve to help us appreciate his personal love and knowledge of us as individuals, that he knows even the number of hairs on our head! The God we serve is eternal, global…and personal.
And no where, or in no one, is this “personal” dynamic more perfectly revealed than when our infinite and global God became, quite literally…a person!
1. How has this vast, global financial crisis affected you personally, and daily? How has it affected those around you?
2. What is one global situation that you are really concerned about? How do you think God is at work in that situation?
3. The entire infinite deity of God was embodied in Jesus Christ – in other words, he was fully God in every way. How does this inform or change your understanding or perspective of Jesus?