Today's devotion from Isaiah 22 and 23.
Why? Why have we spent so many days reading about other nations? Why are entire chapters of this prophecy devoted God's plans for neighboring nations? One reason may be to dissuade Judah from doing something regretful. As nations crop up around the remnant of God's people, they will be tempted to form political alliances in order to defend themselves. They will evaluate foreign countries and peoples through the eyes of what they have to gain through compacts and agreements. One such nation is Tyre.
Tyre was geographically situated in a great location for both trade and defense. Historically, David had good relations with the people there, and it might have made sense to renew that old bond. In this way, Tyre would have been seductive to Judah. This is also likely the reason the prophecy presents Tyre as an old prostitute trying to ply her trade in spite of her unseemliness.
The message is multifaceted, but clear in that the prophet is warning Judah not to do anything foolish concerning alliances. God promises that that Tyre would be profitable to them, but only in that her "profits and wages would be dedicated to the LORD. They will not be stored or saved, for her profit will go to those who live in the LORD's presence, to provide them with ample food and sacred clothing." (Isaiah 23:18, CSB)
Again we see a warning against placing our faith in that which is not worthy of it. To trust Tyre as an ally instead of depending on God would be absolute folly. If they will trust Him, He will give them all the best of Tyre without them having to forfeit their integrity and relationship with Him. This recurring theme throughout these prophecies is important. The people will have to endure hardship and trying times. However, their faith must not be misplaced.
How often are we guilty of doing precisely that which God is warning Judah to avoid? How many times do I devote myself to things unworthy of my devotion? How many times do I place my trust in the most untrustworthy of places? While many options may seem enticing, remember that God is the only truly reliable and worthy source of hope.