A Devotion for 5 November 2020 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“ And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: 3 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. 4 And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. 5 It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. 6 And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 26:1-6; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. Matthew 11:22
A great deception directed at the Christian citizenry of the United States has existed for many decades in concerning a presumed ‘Separation Clause’ in the U.S. Constitution which does not exist. This deception derives from an improper reading of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights:
Amendment 1 of the Bill of Right:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Please examine this Amendment to see if any such ‘Separation Clause’ is manifested therein. What does this amendment actually say? It says that government cannot interfere with religious practices in any way; nor can they limit the freedom of speech; nor can the government restrict the right of citizens to freely and peaceably assemble (even under threat of pandemics).
I must conclude that any Christian who believes that any government edict supersedes biblical imperatives is either very ignorant of his Bible, or else hypocritical in his profession of faith.
Many Americans seem oblivious to any moral duty they have as citizens exercising the franchise to vote. The collective vote of the American citizenry constitutes the moral, or immoral, direction our nation may take. It sets up rulers over the nation. The citizen bears a measure of responsibility for the actions of those he places in power above him. The conscience of the Christian should guide his hand in the voting booth just as it does in the church, home, or profession.
Let us not discount the favor and approbation of the Creator in our Godly governance; and it would be grave error to discount His wrath and indignation at our decisions which foster immoral and lascivious governance. We have many prophetic examples in Scripture of the wrath of God being vented against nations that forget these principles.
In our lead text from Ezekiel 26:1-6, we see that Tyre (Tyrus) had offended the Lord in his treatment of God’s people. It never pays to offend the Lord! It is amazing to me, and a warning to our own dear nation, how precisely the Words of the Lord in judgment are fulfilled.
God proclaimed judgment against Tyre. It was a terrible and persistent judgment in its fulfillment. Verses 1-6 of Ezekiel 26 render a general description of God’s judgment. A detailed description follows in 7-14. Let us examine these two and realize that God’s judgment may descend on our own nation for our lapses of citizenship responsibility.
Note the progressive levels of destruction listed in verses 1-6: 1. “Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. When the wrath of God is provoked, terror will follow. If God is against us, the whole world can do nothing to save us. God can even provoke the heathen nations to rise up and execute His judgment against us. 2. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. This literally transpired in a matter of 5 It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. 6 And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel scribed these words in 571 B.C. and Nebuchadnezzar lay siege for thirteen years to the city about the same time; however, Nebuchadnezzar do not complete the prophecy since the inhabitants fled to an island about two miles off shore and re-established their city there. The terms of the prophecy were completely fulfilled a bit later as we shall see.
7 ¶ 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. 8 He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. * 9 And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. 10 By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. * 11 With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. This prophecy occurred around 586 to 573 B.C. However, when the inhabitants had fled to the island, Nebuchadnezzar broke off the siege and the destruction was yet unfinished.
Two centuries passed by before the consummation of the prophecy would be realized. In 314 B.C. – more than two centuries later, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great lay siege to the island city. The siege lasted for one year according to the historian, Josephus. In the writings of Ezekiel we see a shift in personal reference and the pronouns between the advent of the siege of Nebuchadnezzar and that of Alexander (from ‘he’ to ‘they’). Please note the prophecy below:
12 And they (the Macedonians) shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. * 13 And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. 14 And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 26:7-14
Please observe how wonderfully and completely this prophecy was fulfilled in ways beyond our imaginations to perceive. When Alexander viewed the Island City of Tyre, he was enraged that there seemed to be no reasonable means of getting to the city, or of battering its walls. But Alexander was a military genius even if a drunk. He viewed the ruins of the old city with her broken walls and buildings. He decided to build a causeway out to the island by dumping the huge building stones of old Tyre into the sea in order to build that causeway. In order to make the causeway smooth for traffic, he had his men scrape up the dust from the streets and rubble of old Tyre and use that resource to smooth out his approach to the Island City of Tyre. That worked! The city fell to Alexander. Even today, the old city of Tyre does not exist. It is a flattened rock along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Fishermen use that smooth rock surface to dry their nets after fishing.
“And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.”
I relate this story of Tyre to awaken my fellow citizen-Christians in America of the danger of provoking the wrath of God by our national sins. Remember the Lord’s counsel: “But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.”