In the eleventh month of the twelfth year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, ‘Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper,’ therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like the sea casting up its waves. They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord . She will become plunder for the nations, and her settlements on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord . – Ezekiel 26:1-6
This passage is one of a litany of judgments that are to befall the nation’s surrounding Israel if they take advantage of God’s judgement of Jerusalem. The nation of Tyre was an ancient Phoenician port city, in what is now Lebanon. God is warning the nation of Tyre not to take advantage of the destruction God has allowed in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, the city of David, is referred to in the passage as “the gate to the nations”. In yesterday’s post God shared a hard prophecy with Ezekiel about his wife and the temple being destroyed. This is what God is referring to when he says in this passage “its doors have swung open” Taken literally, this might mean God does not want the nation of Tyre to rob and pillage Jerusalem while He is punishing Israel. This makes sense, but as as I have ruminated on this passage another meaning of this story has occurred to me.
At this point in history God is not ready to “open up the gates” of “the city” to the likes of the people of Tyre. God is still desperately trying to get the attention, and affection, of his chosen people, the Israelites. His special relationship with them is still pretty exclusive. Fortunately for me, and all other modern-day God followers, the snare has been broken and all who choose to do so can now enter the city (the kingdom of heaven) freely.
God says He will be against Tyre, bringing many nation’s against Tyre, like “the sea casting up it’s waves”. God goes on to say “I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock” – sounds like extreme erosion to this geologist. As many homeowners along the sea can attest, fighting the sea is often a loosing battle and one that is better to avoid.
The passage goes on to describe Tyre as, “Out in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets”. This description has me a little confused. It almost sounds like this coastal town will soon become part of the sea through land subsidence, a rising sea, or perhaps erosion? I will have to ponder the meaning of this murky metaphor as I continue down the river.
The take home for me from this passage is that God has extended His arm and opened the gates to all those who are willing to faithfully follow Him. We need not worry like the people of Tyre that we will be pounded into a pulp by wave upon wave of erosive seas.
Prayer: God thank you for opening the gates to all those who choose to follow You.