Monday, September 17, 2012
Sovereign of the nations
For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers.
The fulfillment of this prophecy came to the inhabitants of Tyre. They too delighted in the downfall of Jerusalem. But the conquering army of Babylon would subject Tyre to the same fate as the people of Israel. Their city was destroyed. You can still see the ruins of Nebuchadnezzar's armies and subsequent conquerors right along the barren sea rocks near the modern settlement of Tyre. The ruins were never rebuilt. Just as God said, the old city became a barren waste unfit for habitation.
The power of God's Word even to the pagan people around Israel proves His sovereign care over the lives of all people. He holds all the nations in His hands. He draws them all to Him and He holds all of them accountable to Him. Tyre had once enjoyed great prosperity as a trade city in the Middle East. Under Solomon's kingdom it became a vital trading ally with Jerusalem. But as Israel fell into decline, Tyre rejoiced at its downfall and became adversarial. And from that moment on, God began to pronounce Tyre's own downfall.
God was the sovereign of the nations around Israel. He is still the sovereign of the nations today. He gave His Word to all the nations and He still longs for His message to reach the world. He judged the nations then and He still does so, appointing a day when Jesus will judge all the living and the dead. Seeing God's control over the world of the past gives perspective on present global situations and new hope for the future. And that perspective and hope are only found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.