In a little over three weeks, we will be celebrating Alexander the Great’s 2368th birthday! There may be a few Facebook events popping up soon for celebrations. Alexander the Great lived the kind of eventful life that every young, rough, adolescent boy dreams of having. Wars, fighting, and winning those wars. Men admired him and neighboring countries feared him. Being taught for most of his childhood by the one and only Aristotle, Alexander definitely possessed an astutely educated mind.
In 336 BC, Alexander became king of Macedon. The rest of his life was then devoted to conquering land and gaining power…. as well as removing anything and anyone that came in his way. When it came to ego and basic morals, he immediately went bunkers – as history tells us that most tyrannical kings seem to do. Alex (can I call you Alex?) killed his family members, past allies, he conquered Greek city-states, Egypt, and most of Asia itself. If we are going to compare wit, leadership, and tactical brilliancy, then Alex laughs in the face of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and also makes Bin Laden seem as smart as Aaron Hernandez.
Lastly, there was one particular conquest that set Alex apart from any others before him. After defeating Persia, his new goal was to take control of the key port of Tyre. Now it just so happens that Tyre was located on an island approximately half a mile from the mainland and was heavily fortified with walls up to 150-ft high! In this day and age we have the Navy and Air Force that can easily get to an island, but they did not have this luxury. Not letting this stop them, Alex and his engineering buddies devised a plan to connect the mainland to the island. They realized the water was very shallow, being only 3 feet deep. So they collected rubble, old boulders, and other remaining ruins from the nearby “old city” of Tyre that was still connected to the mainland and threw it all in the water to form a small road. This, in modern-day engineering terms, is called a jetty. With this jetty created from pieces of an old ruined city, 30,000 army men were now to be able to travel over water to destroy the “newly” rebuilt Tyre. They used every scrap they could to build it until the “old” Tyre was completely empty. Alex did, indeed, get what he wanted. It was an epic battle.
They eventually conquered the “new” island of Tyre. However, why is this important? What is so awesome and incredibly mind-blowing about this, is that God foretells of this occurrence happening to Tyre about 257 years before this event took place.
In 590 BC, the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 26:1 to 28:19) foretold that King Nebuchadnezzar’s army would lay siege to Tyre; and that over time, other nations would also go to war against Tyre, continually scraping its foundations to bare rock and would lay its stones and debris in the midst of the sea. Ezekiel further prophesied that eventually Tyre would never be rebuilt again and that it would be a place for the “spreading of nets.”
When this scripture was written, Tyre was a thriving city in Asher. It was NOT an island at all. What Ezekiel said is that nations will come like waves (i.e. over time) and eventually wipe Tyre clean away. Three years later Nebuchadnezzar goes to war against Tyre…followed by the Chaldeans, the Assyrians, the Greeks, Saracens, and the Crusaders over the span of many many years. I would not be shocked if my grandparents went to war against Tyre as well. Apparently it was the cool thing to do. During all this time of losing wars, and before Alexander The Great came in, the few citizens left in Tyre we able to build an island off the mainland, the “new” Tyre. The “old” Tyre was still in Asher but was destroyed to rubble. It was not wiped clean yet as scripture said it would be. However, God said that “old” Tyre would eventually be wiped clean and thrown in the ocean. Sooooo, if this doesn’t happen, maybe God lied to us. Well, that’s where Alexander The Great came into play. One of the ways God’s sovereignty worked over Alex was to fulfill His own prophecy of finishing the complete dismantling of the “old” Tyre AND throwing its rubble and other pieces into the ocean. Which we just mentioned that Alex and his army did exactly that.
The prophecy came true to the last detail. As all of God’s prophecies seem to do. Boom Shocka Locka. God wins once again. Scuba divers today can dive along the jetty to see many of the granite columns Alexander’s army dumped into the sea. In all of history, Tyre is the only city to have all of its rubble cast into the sea. Even the prophetic detail of the fishing nets in those verses has proved accurate. For hundreds of years fishermen have spread out their nets to dry on those jetty rocks.
How awesome is it that we have a holy and loving God that says he’s going to do something and then he actually does it. God says let there be light and there is. He tells the earth to flood and it does. Jesus tells a dead man to wake up and the man does. I love our Father. He fills me with awe.
Psalm 115:3 ; Isaiah 43