Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days Transforming My Quiet Time Day 6

Yesterday I said that I needed a commentary for Ezekiel because I was just struggling. Wouldn’t you know that this morning my light bulb moment was the entire passage from Ezekiel? God is so good.

Before getting to that here is what my reading plan had for me this morning:

Psalm 66
1 Kings 1:28-53
Romans 1:18-32
Ezekiel 27

Oh Ezekiel. This morning, as I read the caption above chapter 27 my heart kind of sank. It said “A Lament for Tyre”, it was early and I wasn’t sure a “lament” was going to speak to my heart. I prayed Luke 24:45 asking God to open my mind and help me understand this passage.

Tyre. Its location enabled this city to become an international commodities exchange. Many nations traded there and this little dot on the map became quite wealthy during Ezekiel’s time.

The first part of the chapter gives you a vivid picture of that wealth. Words such as emeralds, purple, embroidered work, coral, and ruby are used to describe the trade going on. Tarshish, Syria, Damascus, Arabia and Kedar were all listed as nations that did business with and in this city. It’s fair to say this place was well known, busy and full of luxury.

Tyre is described in this passage as merchant ship. A ship that is exquisite in detail. Verse 25 says that Tyre was filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas. There was great wealth. The best of the best in every area. From those who designed and constructed this ship, to the pilots, all the way down to the ones doing the rowing, only the strongest, most skilled people were employed.

This great city had it all. Verse 33 even says that, When your wares came from the seas, you satisfied many peoples; with your abundant wealth and merchandise you enriched the kings of the earth.

But all the wealth, all the success could not stop what happened next. This picture of success was shipwrecked.

Verse 34 says Now you are wrecked by the seas, in the depths of the water; your merchandise and all your crew in your midst have sunk with you. Verse36b ends the chapter saying you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.

What God spoke to my heart this morning was this:

Great wealth can be used to change the world. It can make a great impact on those in need. Taking care of the poor, the orphans, the widows and the hungry is a biblical concept. It is the heart of our God and we as Christians are called to do that.

However, if at the moment of our “shipwreck” or death…good works are not going to save us. Our good works, without Jesus are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6 says that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.)

Each of us has been God given gifts, talents and abilities.

If we take those abilities and create things that change our world for the better – it is good.

If we take the money we make from those things and give it away- it is great!

If we do everything in our power to make sure our family is first and taken care of-we have done what we should do.

If we live a life of generosity, but die without Jesus……

Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.”

This morning, God reminded me that any life that ends without Jesus ends as Tyre ended…dreadfully