“then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you dwell in the lower parts of the earth, like the ancient waste places, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set glory in the land of the living,” (26:20).
More than two chapters are devoted to the judgment and lament for Tyre. It was evident that Tyre was facing God’s wrath, His severe wrath; and it seemed that their greedy and jubilant elation over the fall of Jerusalem was at the root of it all. They were rejoicing over the downfall of Jerusalem, convinced this would be their leg up in the world of commerce, or so they thought.
“Son of man, because Tyre has said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gateway of the peoples is broken; it has opened to me. I shall be filled, now that she is laid waste,’ 3 therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves,’” (26:2-3).
And God proclaims nations will come as waves from the sea, a fitting judgment as Tyre was in fact a rock island in the sea.
“So I will silence the sound of your songs, and the sound of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I the Lord have spoken,” declares the Lord God… 19 For thus says the Lord God, “When I make you a desolate city, like the cities which are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you and the great waters cover you,” (26:13, 19).
And I felt the need for a little history… I hope you find this helpful as well.
Tyre (called Sour in Arabic today) was constructed on a rock island a few hundred yards out into the Mediterranean (Ward 1997:247). In fact, the city took its name from this rock island. Tyre comes from the Semetic sr (Hebrew Sor, Arabic Sur, Babylonian Surru, Egyptian Dr,) meaning rock…
While Tyre seemed to withstand Nebuchadnezzar, it was not prepared for Alexander 250 years later. Although every Phoenician city to the north, including Sidon, welcomed Alexander, Tyre would only agree to surrender nominally to him. They would not allow him entrance to the city, which was exactly what Alexander intended to do. Not [to] be denied, after only a seven-month siege of the island city, he did what no one else had ever considered possible. Utilizing stones, timber, dirt and debris from the mainland, Alexander constructed a causeway out into the Mediterranean. At last he reached the island, breached the city wall and slew or put into slavery the defiant Tyrians. An amazing feat, Tyre was changed forever.
Ezekiel referred to this event long before it happened. While also mentioning that God would send Nebuchadnezzar against the city (Ez 26:7), he spoke of the LORD’s promise to destroy Tyre, scrape her dust from her, make her smooth like the top of a rock and a good place for spreading out nets to dry (Ez 26:4, 14). Ezekiel also pointed out that Tyre’s world-wide trade would cease with this event (Ez 27 and 28). Illustrating Ezekiel’s description of Tyre’s destruction, Jidejian (1996:13-14) noted that over the past three centuries, Tyre has served as a ‘quarry’ for the whole coast. Her stones may be found as far away as Beirut (40 mi north) and Akko (25 mi south in Israel)
As glorious as Tyre believed she was in all her wealth and success, and as splendid as she believed she would be with Jerusalem out of the way, she had built her hope on her own pride in the land of the dead.
And all that God spoke would come to pass and He Would Make Himself Known as the Lord Who Will Set Glory in the Land of the Living.
Consider Him Who Will Set Glory in the Land of the Living
Jesus came as the exact representation of the radiance of His Glory. Jesus Who made purification for our sins that we would be made fit to dwell in the Land of the Living for all eternity.
In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:2-3).
And through His death, He rescued us from the land of the dead and Set us in Glory in the Land of the Living.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, (Colossians 1:13-14).
How do we respond to Him Who Will Set Glory in the Land of the Living?
Perhaps our first response would be to never gloat over another’s misfortune, even if it seems they earned it. Let’s leave judgment in the capable and faithful hands of Holy God.
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him, (Proverbs 24:17-18).
And let us learn well from the history of Tyre. God Sets Glory, we don’t. He brings us to the Land of the Living, we can’t. If we are trusting in our gifts, our talents, our wealth, or our successes, then we are making our home in the land of the dead with dead works that do not impress Holy God.
nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified, (Galatians 2:16).
And the only thing our dead works can earn us is a place in the land of the dead. But when we trust Christ for our salvation, we are brought into His Glory in the Land of the Living.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
But let’s be real. Even when we belong to Christ, this life doesn’t always feel like the Land of the Living. When life feels like we are trapped in the land of the dead, we have to believe what He has said and live with the hope that He Will Set Glory in the Land of the Living and that one day our faith will become sight.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord, (Psalm 27:13-14).
Let us make Him our refuge, that we would not seek after the wealth or splendor this world offers. For when we belong to Him we have all we need as we live by faith, trusting not in ourselves, but in the portion we have in Him Who Will Set Glory in the Land of the Living.
I cried out to You, O Lord;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living, (Psalm 142:5).