Friday, August 19, 2011

Woe to Tyre

I'm reading through Ezekial right now in my Bible time. As I've been reading I keep seeing how God loves. Anyone whose read Ezekial might guffaw at the thought but that is what I keep seeing. When I look at how God deals with His chosen people, I am in awe.  They are harlots with blood on their hands. And yet, even after all the things that His people have done, God still deals graciously with them.

"59 “For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, 60 yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of  the covenant with you. 62 I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.”'  Ezekial 16  

  A couple of days ago I got to chapter 26 about Tyre and I was again reminded of His love. The Israelites are under judgement and Jerusalem has been sieged. Tyre saw this as a golden opportunity.

" ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,’ 

Tyre saw the fall of Jerusalem and sought to take advantage of it.  She wanted to punder God's people.

therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre..."

 The wrath of God was kindled.

That may not bring any "ah ha!s" to you but it does to me and this is why:
Up until this point just about everything in this book has been about God's Chosen People and their rebellion.  The Lord describes, through the prophet, in graffic detail their rebellion and the judgement that is coming upon them.  His people have played the harlot and the Lord is drawing His sword against them. Jerusalem has been sieged.  And yet, as soon as Tyre seeks to plunder her, God is at His people's defense. They were NOT  repentant! He does all this for a people who were STILL in rebellion!

In my mind, if someone had wronged me I so badly as that, I might just let that extra bit of "judgement" come. Why not, right? They deserved it. But that is human thinking. And that cares only for oneself.

I know that the Lord had promised to restore Israel but why not get that extra dig in before it happened?   Remember, they weren't repentant yet. No, the Lord is gracious and loving all the way through. Every where in the book we see that this or that was done that all might "know the Lord GOD".   He does nothing out of spite. He is love.

I'm sure I'm not drawing a clear picture here. You might be saying "well duh" 16 happened before 26 so of course we knew that He was going to take up arms on behalf of His people. And your right. We should know that,  but sometimes I forget. I forget that yes, there are consequences for my sin; that sin must be punished. Even so God wants us to know Him. He sent Jesus. Hello!  His character never changes. Do you get what that means? He is still gracious and loving today! Towards us! His people!  Even when we wrong Him. Even when we aren't repentant yet. He is still working on our behalf. Oh ya'll! He did not let Israel be kicked an extra time and He will not allow our Enemy to kick us just for good measure.  Only what is good for us. Only what will bring us closer to Him does He allow.

Oh how He loves.

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