Sermons by Monday Club
For thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring on Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses…
I. WHAT WERE THE GROUNDS OF HER JUDGMENT. She was judged for her sins.
1. She abused the privilege of civilisation. Tyre was the most cultivated state of antiquity, invented letters, weights and measures, money, arithmetic, the art of keeping accounts. She made her painting and sculpture and architecture and music and letters, all her skill and learning and refinement, instruments of corruption.
2. Tyre abused also the privilege of commerce. The Tyrians were a nation of merchants. But there are two classes of merchants. There are those who aim to develop new countries, to introduce new crops and arts and industries, to elevate races, to make commerce the servant of God. There are others who make everything bend to gain. A prince or an entire people may thus abuse the privilege of commerce. So Tyre abused her privilege.
3. She abused the privilege of her intimate connection with the Jewish people. In the enjoyment of this distinction she stood alone. Tyre was a bulwark of Israel, covering Zion as the wing of the cherub covered the altar. In the unscrupulousness of her lust of empire and gain she broke the "brotherly covenant," and when Jerusalem fell she rejoiced in her overthrow. To her unscrupulousness nothing was too sacred to be turned to profit.
II. THE DELAY OF THE JUDGMENT. The method of God, sometimes, is swift retribution, as with Sodom and Gomorrah, sometimes slow, as with Tyre. She was long in filling her measure of guilt. Over two hundred years before the siege of Nebuchadnezzar, Joel prophesied against her. A few years later Amos took up the prophecy, then Isaiah in , Ezekiel in 590, Zechariah in 487. Yet the judgment delayed. She suffered calamities, but always rose above them. The prophecies were not literally fulfilled. The Christian era came in. Tyre still stood; Shalmaneser had besieged it; Nebuchadnezzar had invested it by sea and land for thirteen years, and conquered it; Alexander the Great, in , after a frightful siege of six months, had stormed, captured, and destroyed it, massacring thousands of its inhabitants, and selling thirty thousand into slavery. But after each disaster it had arisen anew, In the days of , in the fifth century, it was still standing, a city powerful and opulent. It was still flourishing eight hundred years later, in the times of the Crusades. It was the seat of a Christian bishopric. It had stood over twenty-five hundred years. The prophecies against it were nearly two thousand years old. Was the Bible, then, which had proved true in prophecies against Egypt and Nineveh, and Edom and Judah, to be found at fault here?
III. THE LITERAL FULFILMENT OF JUDGMENT. In the year 1291 the Sultan of Egypt laid siege to the strong city of Ptolemais or Acre. Terror spread through the crusaders' kingdom. Tyre shared it. Capture meant massacre and slavery. Ptolemais fell on the very day on which the evil news reached Tyre. At vespers the people in mass forsook their city. In panic and haste they embarked upon their galleys, and went out never to return. The Mahometan came. He overthrew the city. He choked one of the matchless harbours with the ruins. He cast into the sea, statues and columns and the huge stones of warehouses and palaces. He set the last fire to her splendour. He scraped the rock. Standing amid the ruins we may see the dust and ashes of her conflagration, the broken marble columns beneath the sea and scattered upon the shore, the fishers' nets spread upon the rock, and feel, with every traveller who thus stands, that the last prophecy concerning her must also prove true, "That shalt be built no more."
1. The fate of Tyre is a warning to those engaged in traffic. Beware of the iniquity of traffic, of the pride, the luxury, the unscrupulousness, the atheism.
2. The fate of Tyre exalts the Word of God. If we look upon its ruins simply as a record of fulfilled prophecy, they force the conviction, This is the accomplishment of the Word of God, the one thing on earth amid the vast mutations of time, as passes unceasingly the glory of the world, which is unchangeable.
(Sermons by Monday Club.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
WEB: For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will bring on Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and a company, and many people.