Suggested Reading: Isaiah 23
It isn’t just bad luck when the high and mighty, proud and arrogant leaders of this world come to a fall. The Lord Almighty planned it.
Isaiah 23 is a prophecy against Tyre. It was a hothouse of merchants enriched by seafarers. In Hebrew, the name Tyre means rock. Tyre was a favourite trading port for the Phoenicians since it had greater natural advantages than all other ports in the Mediterranean. As time passed these natural advantages changed and even though Tyre is now the fourth largest city in Lebanon, it never regained the former international trading glory it once held.
Tyre is described as a city of much party and pleasure. Because of their prosperity, the inhabitants of Tyre became secure in themselves and a proud people who despised others who did not enjoy the things they did. They became so secure that they disregarded God’s warnings. They were having too much of a good time to listen to “God-talk”. It was an old city that has stood the test of time and this further gave them false security thinking that their prosperity will last forever. Tyre was in existence before the time of Joshua (see Joshua 19:29). However, God’s word came true and looking at the city after its destruction, it was hard to believe it was the same city that used to be filled with so much enjoyment.
“The LORD Almighty planned it, to bring down her pride in all her splendour and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.” (Isaiah 23:9)
God’s plan is to humble all arrogant leaders of the earth and this event is foretold by the prophet Isaiah so that when it happens, they may know it is God’s work and not just some bad luck that befell them. The LORD Almighty planned it long ago. Throughout history we can see that God humbles the most distinguished and important places and leaders so that they can serve as examples to show how easy it is for Him to humble the haughty. He does this to show that although revered and honoured by people they are foolish and weak in His sight.God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Although they appear powerful in the sight of man, God can make them appear as light as feathers which a breath can blow away.
This is an example to all of us of how offensive pride is in the sight of God. It is also to show how useless it is to seek after honour in this world because the honour of man can be reversed with one swift action of God. They sought to be admired by people while being offensive to the Lord.
He does this to ensure that people understand how vain and uncertain earthly glory is. It is temporary even if one can get the impression it will last forever. If we seek honour in these temporary things, our honour will be for only a short while. But those who look to heaven will be honoured forever. He who exalts himself will be brought low.
God is known to shake rulers who were secure in themselves and who became puffed up with their own importance. No matter how secure and invincible they may appear to us, God has only to speak a word and that would be the end of them. The magnificence of Tyre could not save it. Its wealth could not save it. All its partners in trade could not save it. It is better to trust in God than to trust in man.
Because of what God has done to Tyre, every neighbouring country felt the effects since so many of them depended on Tyre for their prosperity.When the mighty falls, those who depended on them for their prosperity will be affected too.
If we spent more time reflecting on the falling of the great and mighty around us, we also gain a more realistic picture of our own vulnerability and then we would not fall prey to an over-inflated view of our own security. Those who think they are standing strong are in most danger of falling.
There is a marked contrast here between the enemies of God and the children of God. God will Himself ensure that His children be remembered. The enemy, on the other hand, has to work very hard and use flattery and deception in order to grow important enough to be remembered. See how God instructs Tyre to take up the harp, walk through the city, play the harp and sing many songs in order to be remembered. “Because of their unbelief they will never enter His rest.” His rest comes to those who trust Him to lift them up and who do not depend on their own understanding and abilities to be lifted up. How much peace do the children of God not know because they rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him!
- Did you know? God is All-POWERFULL! (ofgodthegospelandglamour.wordpress.com)
- Life Lessons from Isaiah 19 (thoughtsonscripture.com)
- “You may go your way; the demon has left your daughter” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
- “He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
- How David showed God’s Kindness (thoughtsonscripture.com)