Scripture Focus: Isaiah 23.8-9
8 Who planned this against Tyre, 
the bestower of crowns, 
whose merchants are princes, 
whose traders are renowned in the earth? 
9 The Lord Almighty planned it, 
to bring down her pride in all her splendor 
and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

From John: Today we return to this post about “kingmakers” from 2022. There are always “kingmakers” around trying to convince us to build the kingdom of one or another of various kings or groups. We must be wary of listening to or acting as kingmakers unless the king is Jesus and the kingdom is not of this world.

Reflection: Kingmakers Unmade
By John Tillman

Until Alexander the Great built a land bridge to destroy the city 300 years before Christ, Tyre had been an island beloved by kings. It made its fortune and gained power by trade across the sea in many luxurious items.

Tyre was a city-state that, historically, was friendly to Israel. Tyre’s king, sent gifts to David and his son sent gifts to Solomon. Tyre remained on friendly economic terms with Israel. Historians partly credit the vast power, influence, and wealth of Tyre to its strategic location and its partnership with the most powerful kings Israel would ever have.

Isaiah called Tyre “bestower of crowns” and they were connected through trade to royalty across the Mediterranean and throughout the region. “Tyrian purple” was traded with Egypt and Israel and the color remained a mark of royalty and wealth through the New Testament and the Roman Empire.

The term “kingmaker” refers to those who through wealth, power, guile, or all three elevate someone of their choosing to a position of power. You probably know the names of some modern kingmakers. They don’t usually want to be the king. That’s too much work. They just want to pick a king of their liking. Their wealth and influence afford them the opportunity to shape the world.

This is not necessarily bad. It is part of the Edenic command to “subdue” the earth and create growth, blessing, and abundance. Originally this meant agriculture, but economic growth is just agriculture of a different kind. Historically, however, the wealthy and influential tend to end up like Tyre.

Jesus wasn’t joking when he said how hard it was for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God. Wealth has unique and difficult dangers that can poison us. Long before the rich young ruler sadly walked away from Jesus, Tyre was given as an example to the world that God would end the pride of those who elevated themselves.

Tyre is a universal warning to all people but even more so to those of us blessed with even moderate wealth. Theoretically, wealth is a neutral tool—neither evil nor good. But in practice, as we shape our world with this tool, it is exceedingly rare that it does not also shape us. 

We should take care that our hearts are shaped by Jesus’ warning and that we use our resources to shape a world that testifies to his kingship.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm
The Lord is King; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him, righteousness and justice are the foundations of his throne.
A fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side. His lightnings light up the world; the mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. 
The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. — Psalm 97.1-6

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

​Today’s Readings

Isaiah 23 (Listen 2:5)
Acts 10 (Listen 5:49)

Read more about Urgent Desire for More
The wealthy young man wasn’t ready to give up earning and he didn’t yet trust what he would stand to inherit.

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