More about Tyre, into the third chapter, keeping with the tone of poignancy about how magnificent their civilisation was.
It’s beautiful poetry of regret over their arrogance.
God’s blessing on Tyre is emphasised with a vision blending heaven and Eden. A blessed creation, surrounded by glittering jewels, walking among God’s fiery stones, a guardian cherub.
This is the opposite of the malicious glee over the downfall of Jerusalem that they are judged for, this is deep lament. Jesus would say “love your enemies”.
God sees their eternal value in a way that they themselves, blinded by the arrogance of their own success, cannot.
There is also a judgment against Sidon, the neighbouring state of tyre.
I just read up on the history of it. Embarrassingly a few entries ago I said it was lost and gone. Well, not quite, it’s the fifth largest city in Lebanon.
It’s been quite a cultural centre, but struggling these days with a massive influx of refugees. There is a lot of poverty.
There was an island and a thriving mainland part of the city. The 13 year Babylonian siege pretty much obliterated the mainland part, ushu. The island withheld the siege. This was a sense in which this prophesy was fulfilled.
The special place in god’s heart may also be a reference to their prosperity in alliance with David and Solomon, Israel’s golden period. The king was close, the temple was constructed of building materials from Tyre.
There was reference to a religious fire ceremony focused on the king, which seems to be referenced here, when God talks about the sadness of expelling them from among the fiery stones for their arrogance, similar to Adam being expelled from Eden. It seems in this poem that God accepted this worship on some level, this expression of spirituality.
I’m reminded of the varying attitudes of churches to Australian aboriginal smoking ceremonies. It’s sometimes veiwed as evil because it’s from a non Christian religion. But a wise aboriginal pastor I heard on the subject quoted the verse “by their fruit you will know them”.
Look at the fruit. Here, it seems God does.
On a personal note, we go to the rural town of orange today for Christmas family celebrations. My sister lives there and the rest of my extended family are converging.
I pray for safe travel, and to relax. I’m very wound up. I’m looking forward to it. And my sister sounds very excited.
I think the spiritual word to remember from this chapter is lament.