GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

God will UTTERLY DESTROY all our ENEMIES in the FUTURE

God will UTTERLY DESTROY all our ENEMIES in the FUTURE

September 3 Bible Reading: Ezekiel Chapters 25-27

“Thus says the Lord God to Tyre: 'Will the coastlands not shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when slaughter is made in the midst of you? Then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments; they will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be astonished at you. And they will take up a lamentation for you, and say to you: ‘How you have perished, O one inhabited by seafaring men, O renowned city, who was strong at sea, she and her inhabitants, who caused their terror to be on all her inhabitants! Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall; yes, the coastlands by the sea are troubled at your departure.’” (Ezek. 26:15-18)

The above passage is part of a long prophecy of destruction that the prophet Ezekiel delivers against the city of Tyre, a principal seaport city of the Phoenicians. Tyre was situated to the north of Palestine and about 25 miles south of Sidon. When the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., the city of Tyre rejoiced since the field was clear for them to secure the caravan trade in addition to the maritime routes that they had already cornered earlier.

However, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied against Tyre (see Jer. 27:1–11) followed by the prophet Ezekiel who prophesied the total destruction of Tyre (vv. 3–21). These prophecies were fulfilled in two stages. The first stage of destruction happened when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, besieged Tyre for thirteen years (585–572 B.C.) and gave it a crushing blow. The second stage of destruction happened much later in 332 B.C., when Alexander the Great besieged the island city of Tyre for seven months. He finally captured it when he built a causeway from the mainland to the island by using the debris of the ruined mainland city. As a fulfillment to Ezekiel’s prophecy: "I will make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again" (v. 21) - Tyre has never been rebuilt!

News of the total destruction and ‘death’ of Tyre caused great consternation among other nations and Ezekiel’s prophecy of the downfall of Tyre is a description of an ancient funeral service (v. 16). It was customary for friends and mourners of the deceased to sit on the ground in sackcloth, lamenting their loss with loud wailing. This is exactly how the princes of the sea (rulers of various settlements in Phoenicia that were connected with Tyre) lamented in song (see vv. 17, 18) after they took off their robes and embroidered garments (see Jonah 3:6). They would finally surrender and submit to Babylonian rule after they saw what had happened to Tyre.

Tyre deserved God’s judgment due to her greedy rejoicing over Jerusalem’s fall. They anticipated that without Jerusalem being able to secure the overland caravan routes, they could now ship more products by sea. As the people of Tyre rejoiced at the destruction of Jerusalem, little did they dream that their turn was coming soon! The city of Tyre seemed impregnable to all attacks, but Nebuchadnezzar would besiege it and later Alexander the Great would wipe it off the face of the earth. Tyre would become a bare rock, a place only for drying fishing nets (vv. 4, 14). This was a total fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy that Tyre would end up like a ship caught in a storm and lost at sea, a fitting illustration for the seafaring Phoenicians.

Just like God utterly destroyed Tyre, the enemy of His people Israel; God will also destroy all our enemies one day. "For He (Christ) must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet" (1 Cor. 15:25). Therefore, we should not fret or be envious by what is happening now just as God’s Word tells us: "Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more" (Ps. 37:1-2, 9-10)

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