Shall we turn in our Bibles to the twenty fifth chapter of Ezekiel? As you remember at the end of chapter twenty four, Ezekiel was not to prophesy to the people again, until the word had come of the fall of Jerusalem. It was more or less, God, having given His final word, His final warnings, the declaration that Jerusalem was going to fall to Babylon. In fact, you remember Ezekiel marked the date on the calendar, and told the people, “This is the day the city has fallen”, or, “the siege has begun”. He marked the day of the beginning of the siege. He wasn’t to prophesy to the Jews until the news had come that Jerusalem had fallen to the Babylonian troops.
So in the meantime, he turns now the attention of his prophesies, to those nations around Israel, that were deeply involved with Israel. He pronounces the judgment of God that is going to come upon these nations. So in chapter twenty five…
The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them; [So this ancient race of people, the Ammonites, were the first to receive the prophesies from Ezekiel.] And say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God (25:1-3);
Now again it is important to notice how many times the Bible purports to be the word of the Lord. Some 866 times, the Bible speaks about the Lord speaking. Here, again over, and over the declaration that, “this is the word of the Lord”. “This is the word of the Lord to the Ammonites, Thus saith the Lord God.”
Because you said, Aha, against my sanctuary (25:3),
Now this term “aha” must have some kind of a mean connotation. You remember that David in the 40th Psalm, and in verse 15, is asking God to take care of those people who were mocking him saying, “Aha”. He said, “Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame, that say unto me, Aha, aha!” So it must have been something very derogatory, and thus because the Ammonites were gloating over the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, God is pronouncing His judgment against the Ammonites.
Now in Proverbs 24, verse 17, it declares, “Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him”. So it is displeasing to the Lord when you gloat over the misfortune of an enemy. Now that’s interesting to me. Because you see my natural tendency is to gloat at the misfortune of my enemies. But you know, as one of the characteristics of love, the kind of love that we’re to possess as Christians, there in I Corinthians 13, it says that, “We rejoice not in iniquity, but we rejoice in the truth”.
So here, the Ammonites had gloated over the fact that Jerusalem had been destroyed. Thus God speaks of the destruction that is going to come to the Ammonites, because of their glorying in the destruction of the sanctuary, the temple of God. “They said, Aha, against my sanctuary”…
when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity (25:3).
The Ammonites were rejoicing over this. So the Lord said…
Behold, [This is the judgment.] I will deliver you to the men of the east for a possession (25:4),
The area of the Ammonites, the people, the nation of the Ammonites was to be overrun by the Bedouin tribesmen from the east of Ammon. Ammon is across the Jordan river from Israel. The territory of Ammon began about at the river Jabbok, and extended south, to the borders of Moab. So the Lord declares…
they shall set their palaces, [Or their dwelling places] in you, and they will make their dwellings in thee: they will eat your fruit, they will drink your milk. [They will overrun you, these Midianites, these Bedouin tribesman type people from the east.] And I will make Rabbah [Their chief city] a stable for camels, and the Ammonites will be a couchingplace for the flocks: and ye shall know that I am the Lord (25:4-5).
God is declaring His judgment. They’re gonna be overrun, their cities will be destroyed. These nomadic type Bedouins will move in, and they will graze their sheep in the old cities, and their camels will you know, occupy their homes and all that they lived in.
For thus saith the Lord God; [Again the declaration, God is speaking.] Because you have clapped your hands, and stamped with your feet, and rejoiced in your heart with all of your despite against the land of Israel (25:6);
Hearing of the destruction of Israel, they, they were so thrilled they clapped their hands. They stomped their feet, they were excited to hear of the destruction. “You rejoice in your heart with the calamity that came to Israel.”
Therefore I will stretch out my hand upon you, and I will deliver you for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut you off from the people, and will cause you to perish out of the countries: I will destroy you; and you shall know that I am the Lord (25:7).
How many of you have met an Ammonite lately? God’s word was fulfilled. They’ve been destroyed. It is a nationality that no longer exists. We only find its records in the pages of history. But God’s word was fulfilled. Now again, God said, “And when my word is fulfilled, you will know that I am the Lord”. “Thus saith the Lord”, and over, and over, “Thus saith the Lord”. “And when it happens you will know that I am the Lord.”
Now if there was an Ammonite in the crowd tonight, we would have to say, “Well God didn’t say it”. You see if you can find an Ammonite in the world today, well, you’d have to say, “Well God’s word wasn’t fulfilled”. But they are no longer a race of people as Ammonites. They have been completely absorbed into other ethnic groups. Thus there’s no language, there’s, there’s no national identity. A confirmation that it was God who was speaking.
Now moving south from Ammon to Moab.
Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Moab and Seir (25:8),
Mount Seir is often associated with the Edomites, but it was actually a mountain range between Moab, and Edom, often times occupied by the Edomites, often occupied by the Moabites. It was on the border land, and so it was alternately occupied by Moab, and by Edom. So, “Moab and Seir”…
do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen (25:8);
They also were gloating over Judah. It’s been destroyed, “it’s like all the heathen”, in that idea that, they are totally forsaken by God. But God does not forsake His people. God will punish His people when they are in need of punishment, but He will not forsake them. They were declaring in essence that God had forsaken His people.
Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, and from his cities which are on his frontiers, and the glory of the country, [And some of the major cities of Moab at the time] Bethjeshimoth, and Baalmeon, and Kiriathaim, And unto the men of the east with the Ammonites, and I will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations. And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the Lord (25:9-11).
The same Midianite people that conquered Ammon will also conquer over Moab. Then the Lord addresses His attention to Edom. The descendants of Ishmael, and, or rather, Esau.
Now there was animosity between Jacob and Esau. You remember the story. How that Jacob stole Esau’s birthright, disguising himself as Esau. Or, he actually he, he tricked the brother for the birthright. But he stole the blessing of their father. He, he disguised himself as Esau, came unto his father, and received the blessing that the father intended for Esau. Esau was so angry he vowed to kill Jacob. That is when Jacob fled to his uncle, and was there for 17 years, where he married the two wives. Returning with the children there was a kind of a forgiving of each other, and embracing of each other when they finally met. But this resentment of Edom continued in the nationality, the descendants of Esau. They continued in this feeling of animosity towards Jacob, the descendants of Jacob, or Israel. So…
Thus saith the Lord God; Because Edom has dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them (25:12);
When the Babylonians were conquering Jerusalem, the Edomites attacked Judah from the south, to take the spoils and the territory that they could. They took advantage of Judah’s weakened condition, their inability to defend themselves. They came in with great vengeance destroying the cities and the villages to the south. So because of this…
Therefore thus saith the Lord; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, I will cut off the men and the beasts from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. [That is, the whole southern area down to the Red sea, the area of Dedan.] And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God (25:13-14).
“I will avenge against Edom before, because of the revenge that they took. The Bible says that, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. The Edomites took revenge against the people of God, and so God said, “I will pour out my vengeance upon them”. The scripture declares, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord”.
We so often desire revenge for an evil done to us. We so often hear the words, “I’ll get even with you”. It’s a part again of that wicked human nature of ours. That desire of revenge. But yet, God has reserved vengeance for Himself. Now He turns to the other side, the coastal plains, and the Philistines.
Thus saith the Lord God; [The perennial enemy of Israel were the Philistines.] Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for their old hatreds; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will stretch out my hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast (25:15-16).
Now it is not really know whether or not the Cretes were, there is a relationship between the Cretans, and the Philistines. But they don’t know if the Cretans came from the Philistines, or if the Philistines came from the Cretans. It’s one of those historical, historic anomalies that we don’t understand, whatever that is! Ha, ha! So we don’t know, but there is this relationship between them, and that’s the reference to the Cherethims. He was promising to destroy the remnant of the sea coast.
I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them (25:17).
So again it’s an interesting thing. If your child is misbehaving, you feel that it is your obligation, and your responsibility to take care of your child, to discipline your child. If necessary to punish your child. If they have been naughty, and continue to be naughty, you warn them, and they ignore the warnings, the time comes when you have to take action. You may take your child, and discipline your child. You feel that necessity to discipline your child. You’re right! For, “The foolishness of the world is bound up in the heart of the child”. You have to, as Dr. Wilder Smith said, “push back those frontiers of rebellion”. But don’t let someone else touch my child. No matter how naughty they’ve been. I don’t want you spanking my child. If you go to touch my child, then you have me to answer to, and to deal with.
This is pretty much the way God is concerning His children. He’s gonna punish them but good! He’s been declaring the punishment that He’s gonna bring upon His children for their disobedience, and for their rebellion against Him, for their refusal to hearken to Him. But God is saying, “Don’t you touch them”. So He is now going to deal harshly with those nations, Moab, and Ammon, and Edom, and the Philistines who dared to exercise his, their judgments upon His people.
Now the interesting thing, we turn next to Tyre, and He spends several chapters with Tyre, but the interesting thing is that there are seven nations that Ezekiel prophesies against. Nations that took advantage of Israel’s weakened condition, and sought to execute judgment upon them.
Now the main instrument of God’s judgment against Israel, was the Babylonian army. God said He was going to use them as His tool, or instrument of judgment. Thus God does not pronounce any judgment upon Babylon for their executing judgment upon Israel. Because they were God’s tool of judgment. However, in Jeremiah, and in Isaiah, because they over punished, God said He was going to punish them. I mean, He wanted to use them as His, as His rod of correction. But when they overstepped their boundaries, then God pronounced the judgment that would come upon them for overstepping what God had called them to do, in bringing judgment upon His people.
Now in chapter twenty six…
He dates this prophecy to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah, and in the first day of the month, [He doesn’t tell us what month it is.] that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, [Now again the claim is that, “this is the word of the Lord”, that God was speaking to him, and the Lord said to him,] Son of man, because Tyrus has said against Jerusalem, Aha (26:1-2),
That naughty word again that is a word of disdain, and God doesn’t like that word! So, be careful of saying, “Aha I caught you!”, the Lord doesn’t like that term. Because Tyrus said, “Aha!”…
Jerusalem is broken [The walls, the gates are broken.] the gates of the people: she is turned unto me (26:2):
In other words, Tyrus is gloating because you see, Tyrus was a, was a, the capital city of the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were the primary merchants of the ancient world. The Phoenician navy ruled the seas from about 1200, 1300 B.C., to approximately 300 B.C.. It was a very wealthy commercial city, because all of the goods from the east would pass through Tyre, and then from there in the merchant fleet, be shipped around the Mediterranean. They had established many colonies around the Mediterranean, where they on a merchant, Carthage was one of the colonies of Tyre, as well as Ithaca, as well as Tarshish. So it was a, a powerful merchant city.
But Jerusalem also became a very strong commercial city. Again the, the nations to the east, those that were more southerly, would bring their goods through Jerusalem, and it would be then shipped. It was the commercial center, and it would be shipped from Jerusalem through Joppa, out through the Mediterranean. So there was sort of a commercial competition. But when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, those people of Tyre were sort of gloating. They were saying, “Alright! Our competition has been wiped out! Now all of the goods will come through us! So we’ll be able to rule supremely the world of commerce! We have no more competition through Jerusalem.” “She is broken, the gates of the people, and now they will turn unto me.” All of the merchandising and so forth.
and I will be replenished, now that Jerusalem is laid waste. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; [Again, that phrase, God is speaking, “The word of the Lord came unto me, thus saith the Lord God”…] I am against you Tyrus, and I will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes his waves to come up (26:2-3).
Now the city of Tyre was sort of a Venice of the Middle East. It was there on the Mediterranean. There was a secondary city a half mile off shore. The, it, it was a major sea port, and a very powerful city of the ancient world. But God is declaring that there will be many nations involved in the destruction of Tyrus. Being on the shore, the waves were constantly washing up on the beaches, and so the idea as the waves are, are causing an eroding of the, of the beaches and all. So, “there will be many nations that will be involved in your destruction, like waves coming up against a sea wall”.
And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, [They, plural, many nations.] they will break down her towers: and I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock (26:4).
A very interesting prophecy concerning Tyrus. It’s to be, the dust is to be removed, and is to be scraped like the top of a rock.
And 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. [Now again, the declaration, “God has spoken it”.] And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they [That is, the people of Tyrus.] shall know that I am the Lord. [“When these prophesies are fulfilled, you will know that it was God indeed, who was speaking.”] For thus saith the Lord God; [Again the, the declaration that this is God’s word.] Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, a king of kings (26:5-7),
The Babylonian kingdom was the first major world empire. Nebuchadnezzar was here called, “A king of kings”. When Nebuchadnezzar had his dream of the great image, with the head of gold, chest of silver, stomach of brass, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay, the prophet Daniel said unto him, “Thou old Nebuchadnezzar are the head of gold, for God has given to you a kingdom that is greater than all of the kingdoms. But your kingdom is going to be replaced by a lesser kingdom. Even as silver is a lesser, a lesser metal than gold. So your golden empire is going to be destroyed by the Medo-Persian empire.” A inferior empire. So here Nebuchadnezzar is listed as the king that God will bring against Tyrus. Notice the use of the personal pronoun, because it is referring to the siege of Tyre, by Nebuchadnezzar. So, “Thus saith the Lord God; I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, a king of kings”…
from the north, with horses, with chariots, with horsemen, and companies of many people. [A vast invading army.] And he [Nebuchadnezzar] shall slay with the sword your daughters in the field: [Those who were living in the adjacent areas outside of the protection of the city walls were slain.] and he shall make a fort against you, he will cast a mount against you, and he will lift up the buckler against you. And he will set his engines of war against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover you: your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into your gates, as men enter into a city where there has been made a breach. And with the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all of your streets: he will slay your people by the sword, and your strong garrisons shall go down to the ground (26:7-11).
The prophecy of the destruction of Tyrus by Nebuchadnezzar.
Now two and a half to three years after this prophecy, which was made in 588 B.C., 588, 589, two and a half years later in 596 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar came against the city of Tyrus, and he began the siege of the city.
Now in those days cities with strong walls were generally taken after a long siege. Nebuchadnezzar had besieged the city of Jerusalem for two years. What they would do was to encircle the city, and cut off all supplies. Gradually as the people would eat up all of the available food within the city, as they would begin to starve to death, they would revert to more or less an animal nature, they’d start killing each other for food. They would be in such a weakened condition, that they could no longer defend the city, and the city would fall.
That’s exactly what happened to Jerusalem. It was under the siege of Nebuchadnezzar for two years, at which time the people ran out of food. They were starving to death, they began killing each other for food. There was, according to Josephus, more Jews, killed by Jews, than by the Babylonians, as they began to be savages in their fighting each other for the food supplies that remained. Gradually the people were practically starved into submission, and the city of Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians when the men were too weak to defend the city any longer.
So he began the siege of Tyrus, but Tyrus was a horse of a different color. Because Tyrus was a major sea port, and the walls of the city went right out into the Mediterranean, forming really the break water of the harbor. Thus, though he was able to cut off the supplies from the land around, he could not cut off supplies from the sea, because the Phoenician navy was so powerful. So the siege of Tyre went on for thirteen years! So a very long siege indeed. There was a tremendous supply of fresh water, another necessity for a besieged city.
When you go over to the land of Israel today, you can see how that when Hezekiah was making preparation for the invasion by the Assyrians, knowing that the, the method of war was the besieging of a city, encircling, cutting off supplies, they covered the spring of Gihon, so they would not know where the water supply was for Jerusalem. They dug a 1,700 foot tunnel to bring the water under the wall of Jerusalem, and inside of the city, so that they could have their water supply during the siege. You’ll find the same thing is true at Megiddo, where they made a tunnel to bring the water on into the city, from the spring.
Now this spring was in the city of Tyre, it’s known as the spring of Resin. It still flows to the present day. The hydrologists have estimated that there is a flow of ten million gallons a day, out of this spring of Resin. So they had plenty of water. They were able to bring in their supplies from the sea, with their navy, and thus they were able to hold out for a long period of time! One thing you have to say about Nebuchadnezzar, he was a man of great patience, as he was besieging the city for ten years!
Ultimately the people sort of got tired of the siege. Rather than being hassled with the blaring of the trumpets, and the horses and all, and the women having to dust their houses all the time, because all these horses around the city stirring up dust, they gradually moved all of the wealth and all of the valuables, and most of the people out of the main land city of Tyre, to the island city, that was a half mile off shore. It was also a well fortified city. Walls going out into the Mediterranean, and it became the major city of Tyre, this island city just a half mile off shore. So that when the breach was finally made, and the city of Tyre, mainland city, was destroyed, the people for the most part were gone. The wealth was gone, and thus, there were no spoils of war.
This angered Nebuchadnezzar, because he felt that you know, all of these many years, without any booty to show for it. So he ordered the mainland city of Tyre to be thoroughly destroyed. They broke down the walls, they broke down the towers, they broke down the houses, they left it in rubble, just as they had left Jerusalem in rubble, some fifteen years earlier. Tyre was left a mass of rubble. Thus those prophesies that we related to Nebuchadnezzar’s sieging, and taking the city, were fulfilled.
But the city of Tyre continued to prosper. It continued to be the center of commercialism in the ancient world, operating now from the island. There were portions of the prophecy that were not fulfilled. The rocks, and the timbers, and the dust wasn’t cast into the sea by Nebuchadnezzar. Nor was the city put completely out of commission.
So notice in verse twelve, as he continues the prophecy against Tyrus, he changes the pronoun. He has been talking about “he will do this, he will do that”, referring to Nebuchadnezzar. But, remember back in verse three, there were to be many nations involved in the destruction of Tyre. Now…
They will make a spoil of your riches, [Though Nebuchadnezzar didn’t spoil the riches, the riches were to be spoiled, but “they” will do it.] and they will make a prey of your merchandise: and they shall break down your walls, and destroy your pleasant houses: and they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the water. And I will cause the noise of your songs to cease; the sounds of your harps will no longer be heard. And I will make you like the top of a rock: and you will be a place to spread nets upon; and you will be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God ( 26:12-14).
So God’s pretty plain, and pretty definite here. “I have spoken it, saith the Lord your God.” Spoken what? “They will take a spoil, they will take your merchandise, they will destroy your pleasant houses, they will lay your stones, your timbers in the dust, in the midst of the water.” Two hundred and forty one years after Tyrus was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. The people moved the city to the island off shore.
Alexander the Great had begun his conquest of the world. One of his first, and primary goals was the conquest of Persia, which was at that time, the major world governing empire, and probably the richest empire that ever existed. So it was the desire and design of Alexander the Great to conquer Persia, and with the subsequent wealth, conquer the rest of the world.
As he was landing the troops to march against the Persian empire, he feared that once the troops were deployed to the east, in their conquest of Persian, that the Phoenician navy would attack Greece, their homeland. With most of their troops deployed in the battle against Persia, he felt that they would be sort of defenseless against this attack, the naval attack by the Phoenicians. So he felt that before he went on his conquest of Persia, it was important that he take the city of Tyrus.
So he marched south with the troops, and they came to Tyrus, and he sent his men to the city, to the leaders of the city, demanding that Tyrus surrender to him. The people laughed at the demand, feeling that they were completely safe because they were on this island, a half mile off shore, and their navy was so powerful. So Alexander the Great got together some ships from the neighboring area. He confiscated them, and he tried a invasion of Tyrus from the sea. But the Phoenician navy thoroughly defeated that attempt.
It was then that Alexander the Great got the idea of taking, and making this giant causeway out to the island, using the rubble from the original city. The rocks from the walls, and the houses, and the timbers from the houses were placed into the sea, making a giant causeway. Then they scraped the dirt and poured it over the top of the causeway, in order that they might move the engines of war on out against the walls of this island city of Tyrus.
So this causeway was built in just a short period of seven months by Alexander the Great. They moved these engines that slung the stones over the walls. They moved these large towers out against the city where the archers could shoot down on the defenders on the wall. As they drove the defenders off the wall, they put up the scaling ladders, and Alexander the Great was the first man over the wall. As he jumped down into the city, he called for his men to follow him, and they also, following Alexander, came into the city.
They were able to take the city of Tyrus, by making this giant causeway, scraping the ancient city like a top of a rock, putting the rocks and the timbers in the dust, in the midst of the water just as the Lord said it would be done! “I the Lord have spoken it, thus saith the Lord God.” Thus it happened just as it was described there by Ezekiel the prophet.
Now Alexander the Great was determined to teach the cities of the world not to defy his demands to surrender. So as a lesson to any city that would dare to defy his troops, he utterly destroyed the island city of Tyre. Utterly destroyed the walls, the houses, and, and just again, cast the remains into the sea, leaving it flat, and desolate.
Now as we mentioned this morning, you usually can discover the ancient sites of the cities by the Tels. The artificial mounds that are made by the rubble of a destroyed city. These Tels have a very distinctive appearance. They’re always higher on one end. They are always longer than they are wide. They, and usually, they are five or six civilizations built on top of each other. Whenever a city was destroyed, they just built a new city on top. It was destroyed, they built on top, and the cities just got higher, and higher. Today you see these Tels all over the lands there, the various cities. But not Tyre. “It’s to be flat, it’s to be scraped like the top of a rock.” Thus for years they had a very difficult time even determining where the ancient city of Tyre existed.
The Romans built a city and called it “Tyre”, but it was built in an area nearby the ancient city of Tyre. The present city of Tyre is built nearby, but not on the site of the ancient city of Tyre. It is still barren like the top of a rock.
A little less than two hundred years ago, there were a group of archeologists, over there in southern Lebanon. As they were just looking for archeological sites, and digging around, they saw these fishermen drying their nets on the rocks. So they went over to talk to them, and as they were talking to them, one of the archeologists noticed that the rocks upon which the fishermen were drying their nets, were not naturally in place. They were artificially in place. So as they looked closely, they realized that they were standing on the causeway that was built by Alexander the Great.
It was a story of history that was doubted by some, because they could not find any proof, or remains. This particular area was always thought to be a peninsula. But they discovered that actually it was a, the causeway that Alexander the Great had built out to this island city of Tyrus. Thus, we now can go over there, and you can see the site of the ancient city of Tyrus. If you do, you’ll see the fishermen to the present day, dry their nets upon the rocks there of the city or Tyre. That’s exactly what the Lord said! He said, “I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.”
So when God speaks with such detail, and such accuracy, and then as the years go by, now you see God is sort of, well He is timeless. So God can speak of these things in one chapter, and it takes you know two hundred and fifty years for it to be fulfilled. But that’s nothing with God! So at any point between Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great, the Bible critic’s gonna say, “Well he says that God said it, but look, here’s the city of Tyrus, prospering and all. It’s not destroyed. No one spoiled it. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t spoil it. So how could he say that God said it? How could he be, claim to be a prophet of God?” But just wait! You’ll find that God’s word will come to pass. What God has declared, shall indeed take place. A remarkable prophecy!
A group of students at Pasadena College, in a science class conducted by Professor Peter Stoner, decided to ascertain the chance of these predictions coming to pass. Using the law of compound probabilities, it turns out according to their conservative estimate, there was only one chance in seventy five million that these predictions could’ve been fulfilled, as they were completely, and accurately in every detail.
Now at the destruction of Tyre, fear would come upon the coast lands. Of course the communities that Tyre, that the Phoenicians had established throughout the Mediterranean, were all upset. Carthage, and these other communities, as well as the cities around. When they heard that Tyre had fallen, and of the destruction of Tyre.
When Alexander the Great would come through a city after that, most generally the leaders of the city would come, and they would open the gates, and they would welcome him in and they would give tribute to Alexander the Great. When he came to Jerusalem he had respect for it because of it being a holy city. The high priest came out, and met with him, and offered him gifts. He in turn, offered a bowl up to the priest, to offer as a sacrifice for him upon the altar. But it was the common practice after that, as the people were so afraid of Alexander the Great, because of this, the destruction of Tyre. That also was predicted.
Shall not the coast shake at the sound of your fall, [That is the fall of Tyrus.] when the wounded cry, and when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? [When they hear of the terrible slaughter of the people.] Then all of the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and they will set aside their robes, they will put off their broidered garments: and they shall clothe themselves with trembling; and they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble every moment, and be astonished at thee. [It’s gonna cause great terror among the kings, and the leaders of the cities.] And they shall take up a lamentation for you, and they will say to you, How are you destroyed, that was inhabited by the seafaring men, a renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the coast tremble in the day of your fall; yea, the coasts that are in the sea shall be troubled at your destruction. For thus saith the Lord God; When I shall make you desolate, a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon you, and the great waters shall cover you; When I shall bring you down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of ancient time, and I will set you in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that you be not inhabited; I shall set glory in the land of the living; And I will make you a terror, and you will be no more: [God promises He’s going to establish in the land of Israel a glory, but they will be brought down into the pit and not exist any more.] for though you are sought for, yet you will not be found again, [That is, as a city, the site was ultimately found, but of course, it was just as God said, “barren like the top of a rock, and fishermen spreading their nets upon it”.] saith the Lord God (26:15-21).
Again, this phrase is used some eight times, seven, eight times in this particular chapter alone, eight hundred and sixty six times in the Bible. So you have then to make a decision. Did God say it? Is this indeed the word of God? Over eight hundred and sixty six times it declares that God has spoken, that this is God’s word.
Now the question is, is it indeed the word of God? How can you prove it? Well it would be very easy to disprove. All you need to do is point at one prediction that wasn’t fulfilled. All you need to do is find one error. If it is God’s word, it could not have error.
Now the book of Mormon purports to be the word of God for the Latter Day Saints. In the original writings of Joseph Smith, he said, “The moon was made of cheese, and inhabited by men”. Well our astronauts didn’t find any cheese up there! So how can he claim to be a true prophet?
You see, it doesn’t take much to, to be proved a false prophet. All you have to do is make some outlandish statement that is proved to be not true, and you can be marked in a hurry! But when the Bible purports that this is God’s word, all scripture was given by inspiration of God. “God who at various times, and in different ways spoke unto our fathers by the prophets.” God has spoken to man. This purports to be the word of God to man.
Naturally that claim is either true, or not true. I mean it’s just that simple! It can’t be part true, or possibly true! It is true, or not true! You either believe it, or you don’t. If you don’t believe it, you are hard pressed to explain it. How could these predictions be made, and fulfilled which have such tremendous odds from a mathematical standpoint? That’s only one chapter, seven of the nine predictions, and your chance is only one, in seventy five million. But when you add the rest of the chapters, and the hundreds of prophesies, then when they’ve all been fulfilled, you’re hard pressed to explain how that could all take place by accident!
I am convinced, firmly convinced, as Paul the apostle, “I am fully persuaded that this indeed is God’s word to man”! That God has spoken. I have placed my trust in this word. I have placed my life in this word. I’ve trusted my life to this word. Because this word promises me eternal life, through Jesus Christ. This word promises me the forgiveness of my sins. This word promises me the power of God’s Holy Spirit to indwell me. It assures me that I can live in fellowship with God, and that I can talk to God, and He will hear, and He will help in my time of need! I have discovered that it is true in personal experience, as well as the historic fulfillment of the prophesies, more than that! That personal experience of my own life, I can attest that this indeed is God’s word. That God has spoken to man!
Why would you not want to believe that this is the word of God? Why would you want you doubt that this is God’s word? Why would you not want to believe in Jesus Christ? The only reason for wanting not to believe, is your desire to live after your flesh, which this book condemns. Jesus said, “They will not come to the light, because they love the darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.” That’s the only reason a person would not want to believe. You may offer excuses, but that’s all they are, excuses. The reason, the deep down reason, is that this book condemns the way you’re wanting to live. Thus you reject it as God’s word.
This book declares that, “You should be kind one to another, tender hearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake, has forgiven you”. So perhaps you’re holding a grudge in your heart against someone. You’re wanting revenge, and this book speaks out against that desire of getting even. Thus you say, “Well I don’t believe that book”. That’s because your heart is evil.
The book declares that, “You’re to be loving, you’re to be merciful, you’re to be gracious, you’re to be forgiving, you’re to be compassionate, you’re to help those that are weak, lift those that are fallen, strengthen the hand of the poor”. It tells you all kinds of good things you’re supposed to be. It does condemn anger, and strife, and wrath, and sexual promiscuity, and murder, and stealing, and lying, and cheating. It says you’re not to do those things. But, maybe you desire to do those things, so you say, “Well I don’t believe that that’s God’s word”. That’s only to cover your sin.
But as God said, “When it comes to pass, then you will know that I am the Lord”. When are you gonna find out? Tonight? Or when, one day, according to this word, you’ll be standing before God at His judgment seat, to answer to God for the things that you’ve done? You say, “Well I guess it was true.” Great! Good luck! No, you won’t even, that doesn’t even apply, I mean, it just, there is, there’s nothing. At that point, as Hebrews, the book of Hebrews says, “Only the fearful certain looking forward to the fiery indignation of the wrath of God, whereby He will devour His adversaries”. God has spoken. The word of God has come to pass.
Take a trip to southern Lebanon. Watch the fishermen spreading their nets on those bare rocks. Take a close look, and see those rocks, and those timbers have been thrown into the sea, by the armies of Alexander the Great, in fulfillment of these predictions. The Lord has spoken. Because He has spoken He shall bring it to pass. But that’s good! Because the things that He has spoken in this book are glorious, wonderful things that relate to your future! It’s great to know that your sins can be forgiven! It’s great to know that you can live in fellowship with God, and have His help, and have His guidance! That you can have Him controlling your life, to lead you into the right path! Oh what confident living when you know the Lord is in control, and you can know that!
Shall we pray?
Father we thank You for Your Word. A lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path to guide us Lord, in Your way of righteousness! May we walk Lord in the light of Your Word, guided by Your truth. Lord minister we pray, by Your Holy Spirit this night, as we consider the word that You have spoken to man. May we live by that Word, and by Your grace Lord, may we die by that W
ord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Shall we stand?
After the service, elders of the church will be back in the prayer room, if you’re in need of prayer for any reason, you may go back there, and they will be there to minister for you, and to pray for you. Again may the Lord be with you, and may the Lord bless you. May He watch over you during the week. May His love just fill your heart to overflowing.
Again our thanks to the men from the Ukraine who have shared with us in their beautiful music, and inspired our hearts tonight, and our love to them to the family of God, there in the Ukraine. As the Pastor said, “Truly one Lord, one church, one baptism, one calling, one hope of our calling, one body in Jesus Christ”. God bless you, it’s a pleasure to have had you with us! God bless you, and go with you as you go in Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7325