Thursday, July 12, 2018

Path to desolation

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 25-27; Psalm 38

TO CHEW ON: “For thus says the LORD God: ‘When I make you a desolate city like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring the deep upon you, and great waters cover you, then I will bring you down into the Pit, to the people of old and I will make you dwell in the lowest part of the earth, in places desolate from antiquity with those who go down to the Pit, so that you may never be inhabited; and I shall establish glory in the land’” Ezekiel 26:19,20

Part of our reading today is a prophecy against Tyre. Some facts about the history and setting (gleaned from my Bible’s study notes):
  • Tyre was an important Phonician seaport along the northern coast of the Mediterranean. It was in present-day Lebanon.
  • Tyre was a city of two sections, one on the mainland and the other on an island half a mile offshore.
  • Tyre’s destruction is prophesied in other places: Amos condemned Tyre for selling the Israelites to the Edomites (Amos 1:9), and Jeremiah prophesied their destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 27:1-6.
  • The destruction of Tyre happened in two parts. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the mainland city in the siege of 585-572 BC. The island city was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. The prophecies in Ezekiel 26:4,12,14 came true when Alexander captured the city by building a causeway using the debris from the city on the mainland.

Ezekiel describes Tyre as a wealthy, diverse, established, bustling and proud seaport. People hearing his prophecy may have thought, how can his words ever come true? And yet Tyre fell as predicted.

As citizens of wealthy, diverse, established, bustling, and proud towns and cities on a continent of similar communities, we may also feel secure and certain that nothing can take our society down. However, even now in our developed democracies cracks are appearing.

Note, for example, the polarization of the people holding to left-leaning (liberal / progressive) and right-leaning (conservative / traditional) thought and lifestyle in the U.S., illustrated by an ad developed for the Republican party, that plays back threats and calls to action by their left-leaning opponents.

The Left in 2018: Unhinged

 As pressure mounts between the two sides, political watchers predict a blow-up. One can see how the nation could explode and implode in civil conflict.

In Canada the conflict is not as overt. Yet if one listens to talk shows and follows comments on Twitter and social media, one can see the same polarization developing.

Let’s not be smug and secure in our own society's outer beauty, sturdiness, wealth, knowledge, and systems of defense, like the citizens of Tyre were (Ezekiel 27:3-11),  when God sees rot and we’re also marked for destruction.

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me as a citizen of a wealthy peaceful nation to resist putting my confidence in possessions and government, especially when that government turns its back on You and urges me to go along with the breaking of Your laws for right living in the areas of accepting, even celebrating sexual perversion and confusion. Help me to cling to Your word as the standard by which I live no matter what my society and government tell me. Amen.


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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