Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 26-28
Today’s reading is a bit longer than usual as I wanted to maintain the continuity of the text. (Hey! I gave you a shorter reading yesterday!) Ezekiel 26-28 is a condemnation and prophecy against Tyre (ch 26), a lamentation for Tyre (ch 27), and a final word against the king of Tyre (ch 28). The detail of Ezekiel’s prophecy is incredible, which makes its fulfillment even more so! Let’s note some of the specific prophecies and fulfillments from chapter 26. First, Tyre’s destruction would be accomplished by many nations (v 3). While Nebuchadnezzar was the first to come against Tyre, her total destruction was not completed until more than 200 years later during the conquest by Alexander the Great. Second, the site of the city would be scraped clean like a rock and swept into the sea (v 4, 12). Alexander scraped the city bare, pushing the ruins into the sea to build a causeway to the island some one-half mile offshore where inhabitants had fled from Nebuchadnezzar more than two centuries earlier. Third, Tyre would be seiged by Nebuchadnezzar (v 8). Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Tyre lasted 13 years. More details about Tyre’s history can be found at www.padfield.com/1994/tyre.html.
New Testament reading: Acts 13-14
Acts 14:22-23 teach us two very important things about the church of Christ. First, verse 22 reveals to that the kingdom was in existence in the first century and is not some earthly institution that is yet to be established. Luke speaks of the kingdom of God and the church interchangeably in Acts 14:22-23. This is not unusual. Jesus did the exact same thing when He spoke of the church and the kingdom in Matthew 16:18-19. Other references to an established, first century kingdom include Colossians 1:13 and Revelation 1:9. Verse 23 also points us to the truth that all congregations of God’s people should have elders appointed to direct the affairs of the flock. While these elders may have been new Christians, this does not necessarily make them novices (1 Tim 3:6). Per our Day 315 reading, Paul was no novice after he obeyed the gospel. We would also do well to remember that the ability to shepherd (pastor) the flock was a first century spiritual gift (Eph 4:11).