Because of the importance of Israel and its people, and my personal love for The Land, I’m inviting you to join me through the key Old Testament book of Isaiah. Each day I’m posting some simple thoughts about this complex prophet.
More woe. That certainly appears to be a constant theme, right? This time the circle expands to the north of Israel, to what is Lebanon today. Tyre of Ancient Days is near today’s Beirut. It is most associated with precious metals and the source of King Solomon’s wealth. The location of Tarshish has been lost to antiquity. Some suggest Italy or as far away as southern Spain. Or even right near Tyre.
This is again a reminder that man’s wealth is but a mere speck in time. It comes and goes as the waves of the oceans upon which the sailor journeys.
One day, the city of Tyre’s wealth will be restored. But look at this:
“At the end of those seventy years, the Lord will let Tyre get back into business. The city will be like a woman who sells her body to everyone of every nation on earth, but none of what is earned will be kept in the city. That money will belong to the Lord, and it will be used to buy more than enough food and good clothes for those who worship the Lord.” (v17-18, CEV).
This outlines an amazing principle. No matter the source of the wealth, it all belongs to God and God will use it for His purposes. He can use even the evil of the world to bless those who worship Him.
I’m reminded of the story of Joseph in Genesis. His was a life of major trials. His own family sold him into slavery. He was unjustly imprisoned for years. And yet, God used all of that for God’s glory and Joseph’s joy. As the story concludes Joseph is reunited with his brothers and declares that he holds no ill-will towards them:
“Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people.” (Genesis 50:19-20, MSG).
As you trust Him, God will use your trials — even things that might be considered evil directed against you — for His good, for His glory, and your joy. Our call is to be faithful to Him no matter the circumstances or situation.
Paul says it this way: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).
If you’re new to this journey through Isaiah, you can start here.
(c) 2020. Rich Ronald.