God is Honored- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 5

And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

Isaiah 23:17-18

Explanation:
Isaiah continues the prostitute metaphor in these verses. At the end of this time of desolation Tyre will be recognized again by the nations. She will begin again to make a profit, and do business with “all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.” God is going to use her newly accumulated wealth for His honor and for His purposes. Instead of being used to oppress God’s people, it will be used to supply God’s people.

This serves as a reminder to the people of Judah that they need not prostitute themselves with the practices of the pagan nations around them. Jehovah God will provide for them. He will take care of them. They need to not envy the nations of the world that obtain wealth in ways that dishonors God. God is honored by obedience, and He honors those who are obedient to him.

Application:
These principles apply to us. We can begin to think that there is some disadvantage to living righteously when we see evil people prospering. We must remember that God will ultimately honor Christ’s obedience who offered His life for us. When we trust in Christ alone for salvation, God justifies us. There are blessings that come with obedience. We must trust God by being obedient even when it costs us in the short term. There will be blessings in eternity for those who put their trust in the omnipotent, sovereign God of the universe.

Response:
• Is there a pattern in your life of living like those who do not trust God?
• In what ways does your life show that you trust God and want to honor Him?

God is Honored- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 4

And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

Isaiah 23:15-16

Explanation:
Isaiah describes the time after the end of downfall and judgement of Tyre. He says “that Tyre would be forgotten 70 years.” For 70 years, Tyre will be a shadow of its former self. The picture offered for this is a vivid one. Tyre will be like a harlot who has been aged and used up by the consequences of her profession. She returns by finding a way to get a hearing and provide a service for her former clientele that they will want.

She is commended to “Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten.” Instead of offering her body she is now offering her voice and song. Why? The purpose is “that thou mayest be remembered.”

We are seeing here God setting up Tyre to be used to bring Him honor. We’ll see that in the coming verses. He can do this because He is sovereign.

Application:
During this time people thought of deities as being tied to peoples and nations. The further you got from the peoples and nations the less powerful the deities would be. In this text we see Jehovah God being different than those other “gods.” Of course we know that He is different because He is the One and True God. But He is also contrasted here because He is equally omnipotent everywhere. He is both omnipresent and omnipotent. He is orchestrating history to bring about His purposes and His plans, and all the nations of the earth are accountable to Him, not just Israel. Tyre, like all cities and nations, is accountable to Jehovah God. The same is true of our country. We must pray for our nation to Honor God.

Response:
• Are you honoring God individually and in your family? If our families do not honor God then our nation will not honor him.
• Take some time today to pray that our country would honor God and that those far from Him would return to Him.

God is Active- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 3

Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

Isaiah 23:13-14

Explanation:

“Behold the Chaldeans”- God is pointing to a people who had also received his judgement by the Assyrians, the Chaldeans. Who are the Chaldeans? They were a people tied to the Babylonians that were prominent at one time. They had fortresses. They had palaces. God had allowed the Assyrians to lay waste to their nation in such a way that it became a wilderness. For those who may not believe that such a thing would happen, God points to the fact that it had happened before.
“Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste”- The ships of Tarshish were ships used by the colonies and merchants of Tyre and Sidon to do commerce throughout the known world. God is telling them that their strength, the society that made the commerce possible, is laid waste.
God was active in what Tyre would have seen as its past, and he would be active in their future as well because of their arrogance and oppression.

Application:
We live in a culture and day that is not much different than Tyre. In the U.S. we have historically had a strong economy. We are a proud people. We have much of our history that is good in which we can be proud. We have also sinned and should be penitent for much of our history as well. Tyre became arrogant and lived as if there was no God, and God brought judgement to them because of their pride. He pointed to them that the Chaldeans had experienced the same thing. As believers in Christ in the United States, we must recognize that we are not immune from the judgement of God. We are not above the law of God. We must not be prideful. We must pray for our land, and our people. We must exemplify humility before God. We must exemplify repentance. We must recognize that God is active in the affairs of men.

Response:
• Are you personally humble and repentant before God?
Will you take some time today to pray for our nation to repent and turn back to God?

God is Just- Isaiah- Week 4- Day 2

Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength. He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof. And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest.

Isaiah 23:10-12

Explanation:
In verses 8 and 9 we find out that God is the one who has pronounced judgement on Tyre. The prophet continues in verses 10 through 12. Let us take it phrase by phrase.

“Pass through the land as a river…O daughter of Tarshish”- There were trade partners and even colonies around Tarshish related to the city of Tyre. There are a couple of ways to translate the Hebrew here, but it seems that He is calling those that have been away from Tyre to come and see what has happened.

“there is no more strength”- What they will see when they pass through the land like a river? When they look through the land, they will find that the economic and military strength of Tyre and Sidon are gone. Why?

“He stretched out…he shook….the Lord….to destroy the strongholds thereof”- God has judged the land. They have depended on themselves and become prideful. They had denied God, and become arrogant. They had oppressed and God was bringing justice.

“And he said…”- The “He” here continues to be God.

“Though shalt no more rejoice…virgin…daughter of Zidon”- Tyre is pictured here not as a of a fresh, young, vibrant woman, but an oppressed, older, tattered woman.

“arise, pass over to Chittim”- Chittim is another name for the island of Cyprus. He is telling them to go beyond their own coasts to go to the closest island to them.

“there…no rest”- Even in this place there will be no rest. The Assyrians, who were used by God to bring judgment, would not let the sea keep them from continuing to attack beyond the coasts of Tyre.

Now those who had been oppressed by Tyre would no longer be oppressed by them. God, in his justice, will crush the arrogant and prideful nation and bring justice to those it oppresses.

Application:
Some people may read a passage about God bringing judgment on a culture and be tempted to think of God as unjust. God is just. He is not arbitrary in His judgment. Tyre and Sidon had sinned against God, and oppressed others. God was promising judgment, and it would come. God hates oppression, and ultimately all that is wrong will be made right.

Response:
• Are you concerned with justice as the Bible describes it?