1 The oracle of Tyre: Wail, ships of Tarshish, because the house is so torn down that no one can enter. It is announced to them from the land of Cyprus. 2 Be still, coastal inhabitants, merchant of Sidon, who travels over sea, they supplied you. 3 And over much water came the seed of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile its produce, and she brought merchandise to nations. 4 Be ashamed, Sidon, because the sea, the fortress of the sea said, saying, “I was not in labor, and I have not given birth, and I have neither reared young men, nor brought up young women.”
Isaiah predicts the destruction of Tyre by telling the nations around her to mourn for her loss. Tarshish will lose its supplier of merchandise. Sidon (who built Tyre, and considered it a daughter) will be childless. In both cases, the LORD calls on these nations to consider the reality of the loss they will suffer because someone they have counted on for support has been taken out of the way. God’s message to them is that he, the God of armies has done this. Nebuchadnezzar’s armies were simply his tool. He is the reason for their suffering.
Many people today are not comfortable with this message. The fact of God bringing about suffering and death is something they would reject. To them, God is only the author of the good things in life. But the prophets speak of a God who orchestrates all the details of our life, the winning and the losing.
We should welcome the times of blessing and achievement the LORD brings upon us. But we should also listen carefully to the message he wants to give us in the losing.
LORD, we surrender to your sovereign will. May we see you hand in all that happens, and trust you no matter what the day brings.