The Materialism of Tyre

On the great waters came the grain of the Shihor; the harvest of the Nile was the revenue of Tyre, and she became the marketplace of the nations.

Isaiah 23:3


Tyre was the main seaport along the Phoenician coast. Part of the city was built on two rocky islands one-half mile from shore. The ships of Tarshish were laden with goods and the wealth of the nations.

Nebuchadnezzar captured the mainland city (572 BC), but the island was not taken until Alexander the Great destroyed it in 332 BC. The city of Tyre represents a nation that was full of pride in its wealth. She had become the marketplace for the nations. The Lord brought Tyre low and humbled “the pride of her glory.” Today, we see the pride and wealth in many nations, particularly in the United States. As individuals, we can easily be caught up in the “tyranny of Tyre.” God judges materialism in nations and in our personal lives. The Lord’s unfailing love, however, draws us to repentance when we see the tyranny of materialism. There is no silver, gold, or diamond that is more precious than the Lord.

What is your most valued possession? Whatever comes to mind first may be the thing that the Lord wants you to lay on the altar. He is a jealous God and has told us in His Word not to worship anything else above Him: You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven or on the earth beneath, or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God….

(Deuteronomy 5:7-9) Jesus knew that our possessions could be like “gods” that occupy our time and our hearts. He told the rich young ruler that if he wanted to inherit the kingdom, he needed to sell all of his possessions. The young man walked away.

What possession do you value above God? One easy test to see if you value something more than God is to look at where you spend your time, your treasure, and your talent. God is a jealous God, desiring that you have no other “gods” above Him. Consider today anything you have put before Him.


Heavenly Father,

I recognize that my heart has been held captive by other things. I have found comfort in food, money and possessions. Forgive me where I have been consumed by other things, and help me instead to be consumed with You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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