"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.VII Pg.8-9a
February 1942

Tire Rationing In Prophecy

W. Curtis Porter

When some unusual event occurs many would-be-interpreters of the Bible are, quick to look for some prophetic statement that points out that event. Oftentimes this error is made by some speculating preacher. But preachers do not have a monopoly on this thing. Recent press reports tell that the Governor of Texas said that our present tire rationing is a subject of Old Testament prophecy. He introduced lsa. 3:18 to prove his point. This passage says: "In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon."

On the face of it this looks convincing, for if God takes away "their round tires like the moon," that must mean we are not going to have any tires for our automobiles during this emergency. At least it evidently seemed convincing to the Governor of Texas, and likely others have swallowed it, bait, hook, sinker, and all.

But I wonder why the Governor did not go a little farther and show some other things to be taken away. In verse 19 God said he would take the chains and mufflers. If "the round tires like the moon" has reference to automobile tires, then we may expect those who have to drive on slippery pavements and muddy roads to do their driving without any tire chains, for God said he would take away the chains too. But also he would take away their mufflers. Does this refer to the mufflers on our cars? If the tires refer to the tires on our cars, as the Texas Governor says, then this must refer to the mufflers on our exhaust pipes. This is going to be hard on the nerves. Think of all the noise that is going to be produced by our chugging cars when the mufflers are all taken away. The muffler on my car that I must keep for the duration is not altogether perfect now. The roaring gets on my nerves sometimes now. But it is much better than if I had no muffler at all. So I would like to keep even what I have for awhile. But there is some consolation to be found in this. Maybe the mufflers we have will last as long as the tires we have, and when the tires are all gone, we will have to quit running the cars anyway. And when the cars don't run, they won't make any noise, and we won't need the mufflers. And verse 23 tells us he will take away the glasses and the hoods. So when our windshields and the glasses in our doors and windows are gone, and hoods over our engines are taken away, with our mufflers and tires requisitioned by the government, we won't have much car left. We would just as well get ready for some walking exercise.

But, actually now, is that the meaning of this prophecy? This application of it is just about as sensible as the application of Nahum 2:4 to automobiles when Nahum speaks about the "chariots raging in the streets" of Nineveh. The mistake made by denominational preachers generally is the mistake of the Governor of Texas--he fails to read enough of the prophecy to find out to whom or about whom, the language is spoken, or even to determine the thing that is under consideration. The whole third chapter of Isaiah is a prophecy of punishment to be inflicted upon Judah. Verses 16 to 26 are spoken concerning "the daughters of Zion." The daughters of Zion, of course, were Jewish women. So if this prophecy concerning the rationing of tires, it would have to do only with tires that belong to Jewish women. God said he would take away "their round tires like the moon." I am neither a woman nor a Jew. So the prophecy could not be applied to me and my old bus. Furthermore, if you will read the entire passage, you will see that God has no reference to automobiles, but he refers to the apparel worn by Jewish women. The chains, the mufflers, the glasses, the hoods and the round tires like the moon were but adornments worn by "the daughters of Zion" in their pride and haughtiness. God proposed to humble them and take away such adorning, along with many other such things as mentioned in the prophecy. This was fulfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were carried into captivity. Gov. Coke Stevenson can doubtless do a better job governing Texas than he can interpreting prophecy, and it would be a good idea for him to learn more about the Bible before he endeavors to explain its prophetic teaching.