Unfamiliar Experience

Ezekiel 27:33-34 “When your wares went out from the seas, you satisfied many peoples. . . . Now that you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, your merchandise and all your company have fallen in the midst of you.”

Observation: Tyre was a great financial center on the Mediterranean coast.  Immensely prosperous, her King Hiram had provided men and materials to help construct David’s temple. But a succession of enemies destroyed her: Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, and, in 1291, an invading Muslim army.

Application: As I have watched the devastation of New Orleans, a tough concept to grasp has been that a great city could be so utterly destroyed that it can be said to be dead. But according to Ezekiel’s description of Tyre’s destruction, the death of a city is not such an unfamiliar experience after all. Tyre is one in a long list of cities destroyed over the centuries, from the volcano over Pompeii to cities of Europe emptied by plagues during the dark ages. Two cities of Japan were razed by nuclear attack, and countless cities of the Old Testament succumbed to siegeworks laid down by persistent attackers. 

The shock of New Orleans is simply that the death of a city has never before happened to us. We have been protected from what the rest of the world has experienced for millennia. Yet we know from the great sweep of Scripture that God’s desire, His intent, is to bring beauty from ashes. 

In the worst of Israel’s captivity in Babylon, there was always hope of restoration.  In the depths of personal despair and loss remains His promise of redemption for me if I will turn toward Him. Surely God’s character has not changed. Surely He is aggressively at work touching hearts filled with fear and loss, that the victim might be drawn even closer to His dear Son. God will not miss an opportunity. After all, He said of Sidon in Ezekiel 28:22 on the eve of her destruction, “I will be glorified in your midst.”

Prayer: Father, glorify Yourself upon the earth. In every place of darkness, let the light of Christ shine. Where fear reigns, cause faith to arise. Replace loss with plenty. And bless every searching heart, that You might be glorified in the midst of whatever we will face today. Thank You, Lord.

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