Tyre - important Phoenician settlement on the coast of Lebanon. It was an offshore island and had a double harbor linked by a canal which allowed sheltered anchorage and a safe outlet whatever the wind direction. It wasn't until Alexander the Great that Tyre ceased to be an island. In ancient documents it was powerful and important,a famous trading center for purple dye made from murex shells, known as Tyrian Purple. Carthage inherited the leadership of the western Phoenician cities after Tyre fell to Nebuchadnezzar in 572 BC. On this occasion the city withstood a 13 year siege before it fell. The island was heavily fortified with defensive walls 150 feet(46m)high. In 332 BC there was another remarkable siege by Alexander the Great who finally succeeded by building a causeway permanently linking the island to the mainland.
Ezekiel 26 announces the destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel was the prophet who announced a head of time what Nebuchadnezzar would do) , Ezekiel 27 asks for a prayer for the beautiful Tyre. Combine the two chapters, you have a wonderful example of God's mercy.
1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
2 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;
3 And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty. 4 Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.
Tyre, Lebanon today - the coast and southern half are devoid of population and are in ruins.
Ezekiel 26:1-14 ~ (Revised Standard Version)
In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers; and I will scrape her soil from her, and make her a bare rock.
She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD; and she shall become a spoil to the nations;
and her daughters on the mainland shall be slain by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
"For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers.
They will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters.
And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more.
I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for the spreading of nets; you shall never be rebuilt; for I the LORD have spoken, says the Lord GOD.
There are several cities in the Bible that were never to be rebuilt according to the Lord's Word like Sodom, Gomorrah, Nineveh and Ai. Some have suggested the Hittite Empire, Nineveh, Sodom, Gomorrah never even existed, in my lifetime, until archaeology dug them back up. Portions of Tyre are desolate ruins today. We looked at Ezekiel 20, this week, where the promises of the Lord to protect Israel came to an end because they had been practicing child sacrifice for financial gain to the false god Baal. The Lord swore in Ezekiel 20 He would scatter the children of Israel.
So many claim the "god of the Old Testament" was filled with wrath. This is uninformed. Judgment when God gives it is deserved. Jesus visited Tyre:
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Then we read Zechariah 7 telling us the thoughts of our heart matter. Tyre provided David with trade, Solomon built God's Temple with Phoenician wood. They were probably more frenemy than enemy to Israel.
People have heard my groaning, but there is no one to comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my distress; they rejoice at what you have done. May you bring the day you have announced so they may become like me.
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice
"If I have rejoiced at my enemy's misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him--
Why would the Lord have changed His plans for Tyre?
1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
Jesus had something to say about prayer and hope:
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly
Jesus was known to be open to appeal:
3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
God loves us.
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.