July 17: Isaiah 18-22
15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16 What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, the Lord will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you 18 and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. 19 I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. 20 In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23 And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father's house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.”
The Lord Has Spoken
As I read through today's Bible passage, I was struck by the last four words of Isaiah 22: The Lord has spoken.
These were powerful words coming from a prophet who spoke condemnation to all of the nations surrounding Israel, and to the Israelites themself. The danger that we face in our every day lives is that we forget these words! We are caught up in our every day activities and the culture surrounding us. How different would our lives be if we took these words seriously? The Lord has spoken; it is a done deal--His words will surely come to pass.
What, specifically, is Isaiah referring to in this particular passage? Verse 15 begins with a reproof against Shebna because of his pride, vanity, and security; Shebna's security rested upon his wealth and status. What difference would it make when he was laid in the grave, whether he was placed in a magnificent vault or just covered with sod? God, in His displeasure removed Shebna because of his abuse of power and mistreatment of those under him, and replaced him with Eliakim.
If God places us in power or control over others, it is so important that we seek the grace of God to enable us to do our job with integrity. Everything we think and do is made known to God. We must pray that God would give us the grace to live every moment for the glory of God, and not just to please ourselves or those around us.
What was Isaiah trying to say in verses 23 to 25? The Israelites placed pegs on the walls to hold items securely; the items were safe as long as the pegs were secure. What pegs do we use for security? Look at verse 25.
In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.
Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Isaiah 22, summarizes these verses in this way:
Our Lord Jesus is as a nail in a sure place. That soul cannot perish, nor that concern fall to the ground, which is by faith hung upon Christ. He will set before the believer an open door, which no man can shut, and bring both body and soul to eternal glory. But those who neglect so great salvation will find, that when he shutteth none can open, whether it be shutting out from heaven, or shutting up in hell for ever.
Amen. The Lord has spoken!
God Bless You,
All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.