God: Judging or Lamenting? In the previous chapter, God declared destruction against Tyrus (Tyre). In this chapter, God laments over Tyrus. Why would God lament over a city He is going to destroy?
Have you ever made a delicious plate of food, sat down to eat it, and before you get to take your first bite, a fly lands right in the middle of the plate? Have you ever grown a garden but just before harvest, there is too much rain and the crops rots? If a fly lands in your food or your crops rot, you will have to throw away what is no longer fit to eat. You have to destroy it. Yet aren’t you sad to see it go?
In the same way, God has to destroy Tyrus for its sins yet He is sorrowful that it will be destroyed. He sees all the beauty and splendor that it has and laments that it is not used for good; God blessed Tyrus with beauty and the talents to thrive, but instead of glorifying God with these gifts, the city has only increased in pride and wickedness. Thinking themselves to be of “perfect beauty” (v. 1), they became corrupt with pride.
The tragedy is that God created something beautiful and yet Tyrus messed it up. Returning to the crop analogy, the seed can be good but the fruit be worthless. And just as God mourns over Tyrus’ destruction, He, too, mourns over you if you have not accepted Him; God blessed you with a good seed (a soul) and gave you the instruction manual on how to glorify God by a life of righteousness (the Bible), yet with a sorrowful heart He will have to throw you away if your fruit is rotten.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1-2 After God foretold of Tyrus’ destruction (ch. 26), He laments over the city. God is not pleased when He has to destroy anyone for his sins, for it is His will that all should repent and be saved (II Pet. 3:9).
3a God addresses Tyrus with honor, magnifying it first as the entry to the sea even though it is one of many coastal cities and second recognizing its stature as a renowned merchant.
3b God opens the lamentation with the declaration of its sin, pride, for no one is perfect other than God. While one can humbly accept that one is beautiful because of God’s gifts and blessings, one cannot humbly believe oneself to be beautiful because of oneself.
4-7 Tyrus’ influence is so strong in the region that its boarders can be considered to extend into the seas. The citizens have brought in the finest materials to build the city. They then took pride in their work, believing that they had perfected the city. The fact that God acknowledges their work demonstrates how splendid the city must be.
8-11 Not only does Tyrus have physical beauty but also it possesses an elevated stature; instead of being a servant to other nations, nations come to it for goods and as servants. God ends the lamentation with the declaration that Tyrus did not make itself beautiful; the other nations and the goods it collected made it beautiful. All wealth, power, or beauty that one possesses is given to one through the blessings of God on oneself and through others. Tyrus fails to recognize this and instead falsely believes in pride that it is the cause of its own beauty.
12-25 Even though the lamentation is over, God continues to explain that Tyrus is favored not because it is perfect but because God blessed it with resources and wealth that created the opportunity for trade. These gifts from God made Tyrus grow in reputation in the region until it is considered very glorious. God always wants one to understand one’s condition and the reasons for one’s conditions.
26-34 God stops explaining the condition of Tyrus and now states the consequences of that condition. Being deceived by pride, the city has taken the gifts of God and tarnished them. Now, the gifts and the city must be destroyed. No matter how lovely the creation, if it is tarnished with sin, God will destroy it.
35-36 Seeing Tyrus’ destruction, the people who adored Tyrus will be shocked and terrified; putting their faith in Tyrus’ gifts, they do not suspect that it could ever the destroyed. One can easily focus on a gift from God and elevate it so high that one forgets that as God gives, God can take away. Instead of recognizing this lesson and glorifying God for His blessings and authority to remove blessings, the merchants will turn their affection for Tyrus into hatred. This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, as Tyrus is still a merchant city in Lebanon. See Ezekiel 28:1-2.
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