Friday, December 02, 2016

The Pride of Human Effort

Winter is nearly here on the calendar and my house felt it this morning. All of my effort in all of my human strength cannot stop the cold of winter from catching up to us. Sorry, I'm just not up to it. You'll have to look to one of the great city-states of old to see if human strength can stop winter from coming.

Human effort came to a peak in a few places in the Bible: Babel, Babylon, Rome, and Tyre to name some examples. In Tyre, God saw a great, strong, and wealthy city; one in which every advantage the world can offer had gathered. Smart and wise counselors, a strong ruler, trading and merchant shipping, wealth, and a strong army of elite soldiers picked from many nations. The city had natural defenses for protection and easy access to trading routes and the sea. Human pride rose up tall where human accomplishments built a foundation of faith in man. Then God gave warning of where pride and faith in man will take us:

“Your riches, wares, and merchandise,
​​Your mariners and pilots,
​​Your caulkers and merchandisers,
​​All your men of war who are in you,
​​And the entire company which is in your midst,
​​Will fall into the midst of the seas on the day of your ruin. (Eze 27:27)

Reading in Ezekiel 27, we see a list of the many advantages that Tyre had in their day. But, a strong east wind was blowing, and the people of Tyre were about to do a bad thing: they would scoff and laugh when Israel, God's chosen people, fell as punishment for her sins. The city of Tyre saw more opportunity for plunder with the defeat of their neighbor, but God would send the same wind that struck down Jerusalem to blow Tyre right into the sea, namely a king named Nebuchadnezzar. You see, Nebuchadnezzar had God's mandate and His strength behind his efforts, and the mere human effort and strength of Tyre could not stand. In the case of Tyre, pride did indeed go before the fall.

Faith in man's strength will always fail us; faith in God will always save us.

Have a great Friday in Christ!

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