Thursday, 12th May 2022
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-7 Joy Begets Sorrow
V1 ‘The burden against Tyre. Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no harbour; from the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them.’ Tyre was the place gathered with businessmen and merchants, a place of trading, importing and exporting; it was full of resources and wealth, and people, who lived there, lacked nothing. No one thought about God in Tyre, no one would believe that everything they had was from God. But through the prophet Isaiah, God said to His people about the end of Tyre. God is talking to His people, those who are called and chose to follow Him, that all the wealth and richness will go away eventually.
V2-3 ‘Be still, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, whom those who cross the sea have filled. And on great waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the River, is her revenue; and she is a marketplace for the nations.’ Sidon was a busy port, with traders and merchants; people there thought that their wealth would never go away, because they had strong connections such as Egypt.
V4 ‘Be ashamed, O Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the strength of the sea, saying, “I do not labour, nor bring forth children; neither do I rear young men, nor bring up virgins.”’ We rely on the environment like how Sidon was relying on the sea, but the sea did nothing. V6-7 ‘Cross over to Tarshish; wail, you inhabitants of the coastland! Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is from ancient days, whose feet carried her far off to dwell?’ God is giving us a wake-up call through the environment, in the past two years, the worldwide pandemic and economic crisis have turned the world upside down. Wealthy and strong cities have fallen, and people can no longer rely on their ‘joyous city’.
Section Two V8-14 God will Take Over
V8-9 ‘Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honourable of the earth? The Lord of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonour the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.’ Joy will beget sorrow, if we cannot give thanks and realise that everything we have is from God, our family, our job, our wealth, our academic degree, our expertise, even out social status… everything is from and if we don’t give thanks then everything will soon pass.
V10-11 ‘Overflow through your land like the River, o daughter of Tarshish; there is no more strength. He stretched out His hand over the sea, He shook the kingdoms; the Lord has given a commandment against Canaan to destroy its strongholds.’ God will tear down everything we thought that can protect us and stop us seeing the eternality. God wants us to be alert, not to be destroyed with this fallen world. When God takes over, He wants us to repent and return, He wants us to raise up and be alert. God’s will for us is always good, He wants us to see our lives and change our ways. In the past, present and future, God’s love for His people is always the same.
When we see things happen that are undesirable, what is our attitude towards it? Do we hide away and ignore God’s calling? Do we judge and make assumption? No, God wants us to love our neighbours as ourselves, to forgive one another, and to act out our faith. V12 ‘And He said, “You will rejoice no more, o you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus; there also you will have no rest.’ Tyre was the protection of Sidon, and if Tyre had fallen, then Sidon would seek help from Cyprus. But God said to Sidon that no matter who they would seek help from and where they would go, there would be no place of rest for them.
Section Three V15-18 God will Work
V15-16 ‘Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot: “Take a harp, go about the city, You forgotten harlot; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.’ Seventy years is a generation, a generation has passed and another generation will rise up. What we must gather for our next generation is the inheritance of the kingdom, because all the wealth of this world will pass. Only those provided by the Lord will last, are we willing to humbly follow God, to offer to Him and to let Him take over?
V17-18 ‘And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the Lord will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.’ God’s Word will never fail, and God’s Work is at hand, let us continue to set our eyes on Him, and Him only.
以赛亚书 23 – 属世的高傲尊贵的下场
V2-3 西顿是卸货物的码头之地，曾经繁华的城市，在时间到的时候，要“静默无言”！“西曷”和“尼罗河”代表埃及 – 神提醒他们不要以为埃及能保护那些倚靠她的城市。
V5-7 在疫情中，我们乱了阵脚，所以神给我们一个wake-up call – 上海，一个曾经繁荣的城市，如今竟然经历这样的艰辛。那里的人以前想不到会有现在的日子。我们不要以为事情十拿九稳，其实乐极会生悲，神要让世界看见，曾经“欢乐的城”最终也会荒废。
V8-9 我们有没有看见我们今日所得到的一切祝福 – 包括我们的家庭、职场、在新西兰的身份、等等，是从神而来？若我们以为是自己厉害，这些我们所倚靠的都会过去。
V13-14 迦勒底人就是巴比伦 – 他们没想到会被亚述攻击，至终荒凉。耶稣基督曾教导我们，要聚宝在天上。唯有天上的城是永恒的，求神帮助我们看到福音的大能。