Ezekiel 25-27, Psalm 38
It has been said that prophecy is what makes the Bible unique and offers the most credible validity that it is divinely inspired, and is evidence that God's signature is in the words of the Bible. There have been many self-proclaimed prophets like the so-called wise men in the times of Moses and Daniel, or more recently with Nostradamus and Edward Cayce. These false prophets made vague and general predictions that could be adjusted to make them seem to come true. But the prophecies in the Bible are so specific and precise that when fulfilled it is clear that they have to be from God. More than one quarter of all Scripture is prophetic, with over half of these prophecies already fulfilled to the most minute detail. In today's readings we will read about the destruction of Tyre. Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated the probability of the 8 prophecies detailing the destruction of this major city coming true as predicted as 1 in 40 million.
Tyre was deemed impregnable not only because of it's highly walled city on the mainland but also because it was the nation with a navy second to none and had a smaller city about 1/2 mile off the mainland which no one else could get to or attack because of their navy. In chapter 26 of Ezekiel the prophecy against Tyre is detailed. In Ez 26:3-14 the details are contained. The first part details the part that King Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon would play. In Ez 26:7-8, we see,"...Behold I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people. He will slay with the sword your daughter villages in the field; he will heap up a siege mound against you, build a wall against you, and raise a defense against you". We read that despite this in Ez 29:18 that despite this siege and destruction of Tyre in the hands of Babylon that the king and his army received no plunder. We know from history that Babylon laid siege against Tyre in 585 BC and this siege lasted 13 long years because fresh supplies kept coming into Tyre by way of their navy. After 13 years they shattered the walls of the city on the mainland, but the riches and prominent citizens had already moved from there to live on the island which Nebuchadnezzar could not reach without a navy. Therefore, he obtained an empiric victory with no plunder.
The prophecy changes from him (Nebuchadnezzar) to they (Greece) in Ez 26:12 where we read, "They will plunder your riches and pillage your merchandise; they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses; they will lay your stones, your timber, and your soil in the midst of the water." In Ez 26:4 it also says, "And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock." 241 years after the Babylonians came against Tyre, Alexander the Great and Greece came against them in 332 BC. He feared the navy of Tyre, that they might attack his homeland in Greece while he was off fighting elsewhere. So over only 7 months he built a 200 foot wide causeway from the rubble, timber and dirt from the mainland city to the island city as the prophecy foretold. He then marched his army a half mile to the island and destroyed the city.
The prophecy concludes in Ez 26:5, "It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea,..". This is reiterated in Ez 26:14, "I will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken'...". The island which was the pride of Tyre is now unoccupied except for a small fishing village, which is "a place to spread nets upon". On the mainland, though a modern city named Tyre has been rebuilt in modern day Lebanon, the original city is a barren rock, never rebuilt as foretold in prophecy.
God speaking through Isaiah in Is.41:21-24 and again in 42:9, challenged those who believed in false gods to prove their case as in Is 41:23, "Show the things that are to come hereafter, That we may know that you are gods;.." He states His authority and divinity in Is 42:9, saying, "Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them." What is so important with fulfilled prophecy is that with over 500 prophecies fulfilled with 100% pinpoint accuracy to the minutest detail we can rest assure that those many prophecies which are yet to be fulfilled will also be fulfilled with that same level of accuracy. As we read through our Bible and take note of those prophecies concerning end times, though none of us know the time or hour (Matthew 24:36), we know that we are on the brink. Those of us who have placed our trust in the author and finisher of our salvation, Jesus Christ, have nothing to fear as these days approach, but instead say, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come". May we sound the alarm and warn a world deep in slumber so that they may share our joyful expectation.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: