Isaiah now turns to Tyre with a word from the Lord. And it is NOT a good word. But is has redemption as its ending. This too is from the Lord.
God said He would punish Tyre for its “pompous pride.” Her fame as the “merchant of the nations” will end; for a time. Those as far away as Egypt will be affected by her fall. Those who were partners in business with her or her competition will have a chance to build on their own.
Tyre was an ancient city who had great fame and prosperity. She felt secure in her place and proud of her accomplishments. “Look what WE have done!” and “There is none greater” were her boasts. For THIS reason, God would humble Tyer.
God does NOT let human pride stand before Him. There is NOTHING man can do that can match His power. I’m curious to know why He chose to knock Tyre down. There were many nations that boasted of their own power. Isaiah has already told us of the fate of many. I can understand His hand repaying those who oppressed, or would oppress, His people. But did Tyre enter into the conflicts with Israel, Judah and the other inhabitants? Was she being brought low so that Judah wouldn’t look to her for ‘salvation’? Were her trade practices impacting Judah? Was she an object lesson?
In this prophecy against Tyre, Babylon is used as an example of God’s might. Even Babylon is brought low by God. What hope did Tyre have of withstanding His hand? ‘How the mighty have fallen. Don’t rejoice over them, for you are next.’
In all this judgment, the sea is mentioned several times. I’m curious; did the sea play an important role in Tyre’s demise? Did the invaders come by sea? Was the sea itself used to wash over the city? I had to Google the fall of Tyre to answer these questions. I found references to the sea being important in the final destruction of the island of Tyre. It also answers my questions concerning how Tyre fit into the political and military climate in the region. I don’t know how they stood in Isaiah’s time but their earlier alliances went with whoever was on the ‘winning’ side. And they were up for anything that lined their pockets, hence, the reference of prostitution.
God said that Tyre would be redeemed after 70 years. God says that HE will visit Tyre and restore her. She will go back to her old ways but “her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the Lord” (verse 18a). She won’t be building up her own fortunes but sharing it with others; “those who dwell before the Lord” (verse 18c). According to my source, mentioned earlier, the original city doesn’t get rebuilt.
We find Tyre mentioned in the stories of Jesus’ life. I wonder what kind of relationship Tyre had with Israel at that time. People came from there to hear Him and to ask for His help. Jesus even went to Tyre and Sidon where He ministered to at least one woman. Matthew and Mark both tell the story. I don’t find references of the apostles visiting Tyre after Jesus’ ascension. But Paul was from Tarshis, which is mentioned in our prophecy concerning Tyre.
Tyre must have had a special role to fill in God’s plan. I don’t know what it is or all that it entails. I’m NOT familiar with the history of the region. I am ‘familiar’ with the fact that God loves the WHOLE WORLD. That His plan of salvation is for both Jew and Gentile alike. And that, before Jesus returns, EVERY PERSON will have had the opportunity to hear the good news of salvation.
Because of Isaiah’s ‘mixed bag’ of prophecy timelines, I don’t know if Tyre will be used in the future by God to minister to His people or if they were in the past. That would take a greater knowledge and understanding of prophecy than I possess. What I DO possess though is faith. Faith that God knows His FULL plan and is bring about EVERY DETAIL just as He said He would. For today, I’m SO GLAD to know that God can use something and someone, NO MATTER their past, to be part of His plan. There is no one beyond His reach. Not everyone will ask Him to be Lord of their lives but they are STILL part of HIS creation and within His ability to shape their lives.
Father God, thank You that NO ONE is beyond Your reach. This gives me even more hope for my children and grandchildren. I know; Tyre and Sidon returned to their old ways. That is NOT what I want for my family. What I pray for instead is for their eyes and hearts to be opened and to have someone they will listen to pour Your words into them. I want them to not only be used to bless Your people but to be one of those people themselves; a child of God. Do whatever it takes Lord. And help me know when to stand still and wait instead of trying to get them out of their difficulty. I have a tendency to see them hurting or struggling and want to step in and fix it, or at least lighten their load. Keep me in step with Your plan instead of working against it.