Wednesday, December 23, 2009

it was sad when the great ship went down

The Word for today:
Isaiah 22:15-23:18

mark this: Isaiah 23:8-11 --
Who has purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth?
The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory,
to dishonor all the honored of the earth...
He has stretched out his hand over the sea; he has shaken the kingdoms;
the LORD has given command.

Long ago and far away?

Is that the way we're to read the prophets? Are these messages to people of the past?

They were then. But they're aimed squarely at us now.

Today, in Isaiah 23, we'll be reading about the fall of Tyre. So what's that got to do with the USA--with you and me, in the 21st century?

Let's apply some deductive reasoning as we review some Biblical principles:

The prophet speaks to the people from God.
Jesus is God.
Therefore, we must deduce that the voice declaring these judgments is none other than the voice of Jesus.

The LORD God is no respecter of persons. (1)
God judged Israel, the apple of His eye; and God judged Jesus, His one and only Son.
Therefore, we must deduce that God will judge us as we sin the same sins that took Israel into captivity and Jesus to the cross.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (2)
He said what he meant and meant what He said--then.
Therefore, we must deduce that He's saying what he means and meaning what He says--now.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
The prophets speak a horrific, fear-inducing vision.
Therefore, we must deduce that God wants us to wise up!

You've heard the prophetic voice before. You've heard it excoriate the Pharisees. You've heard it command the natural realm, calming the sea. You've heard it command the spiritual realm; driving out demons, ordering Satan to get out of His sight.

Only time and space--history and geography--separate the United States from the commercial behemoth called Tyre which we read about in Isaiah 23. Essentially, we are they. They were merchants on many waters, the merchant of the nations. With unparallelled revenues, they were the stronghold of the sea.

When I was a kid, we sang a song at summer camp. It went like this:

Oh they built the ship Titanic
to sail the ocean blue.
And they thought they built a ship
that the water wouldn't go through.

But the good Lord raised his hand--
said, "This ship will never stand."
It was sad when the great ship went down.

Isaiah 23:11 shows the hand of the LORD, stretched out over the sea, commanding that the kingdoms be shaken.

It was sad when the great ship went down.

(1) Acts 10:34; (2) Hebrews 13:8; (3) Proverbs 9:10

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