Thursday, October 3, 2019

Isaiah 23


Isaiah 23:8-9 (ESV)
Who has purposed this
against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants were princes,
whose traders were the honored of the earth?
to defile the pompous pride of all glory,
to dishonor all the honored of the earth.
   
Tyre was wealthy and secure. She had many powerful friends. She was not part of the People of God, yet her wealth, security, and powerful friends could not save her from the discipline of the LORD of hosts. God is not a territorial God. He is not the God of his People. He is the LORD of hosts, King of kings and Lord of lords. He is God over all the earth, and over all creation. Tyre’s wealth, security, and powerful friends could not save her from his hand.

There are multiple lessons here, but the central lesson is found in verse 9, “The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth.” Tyre’s hope was in her own resources. Her wealth, security, and powerful friends had become her source of security. She was taken with her own greatness. These things had become her god. God will not share his glory.

Whenever we look to anything other than God to provide for us what only God can provide, we reap death. When our security, our significance, and our satisfaction are rooted in circumstances, networks, bank accounts, or personal ability we risk losing it all. God will not share his glory. When our circumstances are favorable we need to recognize it as a gift from God. When we develop networks of people and organizations that come around us to support and encourage us, or just to give us a hand up, we need to acknowledge them as a gift from God. When our bank accounts are secure, or we are capable and gifted in certain areas of life, work, or ministry, we need to recognize that God is the source of these things. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17).

The blessings of life should move us to worship and gratitude, not self-sufficiency and pride. Proverbs 16:18 tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” James references Proverbs 3:33 when he writes that God, “gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (Jas 4:6). This is exactly what happened with Tyre. She trusted in her wealth and powerful friends, and she fell just as God promised.

Where is your hope today? Is it in the government? It will fail. Is it in your retirement plans? They will never be enough. Is it in your creativity and giftedness? They will fade. Is it in your friends and family? They will not always be there for you despite their promises. Our only real hope is in God. Aaron Shust conveys this truth in this song written by Cushman April Camille, My Hope Is In You.

My hope is in You, Lord
All the day long, I won't be shaken by drought or storm
A peace that passes understanding is my song
And I sing my hope is in You, Lord

I wait for You and my soul finds rest
In my selfishness, You show me grace
I worship You and my heart cries "Glory
Hallelujah, Father, You're here!"

My hope is in You, Lord

Where is your hope today?

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