Archive for September 14th, 2008

They looked, but never Looked to Him!

I picked a few good chapters to miss as St. Philip’s goes skipping through Isaiah two chapters at a time! It’s been Isaiah declaring the Lord’s assessment of the enemy nations that surround His people. Not a very pretty evaluation.

But then we come to His own people, Jerusalem of Judah in Isaiah 22. They aren’t measuring up either. This chapter personifies how we can look to every scheme and tactic to deliver us from a problem and yet not look to the very One who put us in that situation to provoke us to repent.

I’m just baffled by the 40-50,000 people who opted to stay in Galveston and other coastal areas while the National Weather Service officials were promising “certain death”. (thankfully, their guarantee for death was inaccurate!)

But, it was somewhat similar in Jerusalem’s day. While Isaiah was tearfully telling them that Babylon would overthrow Jerusalem with arrows and chariots, they instead opted to fortify their homestead and hunker down. No wonder Isaiah said, “I will weep bitterly” when he saw God’s warning being outright ignored.

So instead of preparing Jerusalem for an attack depending on their own plans and schemes, they should have turned their hearts in humble repentance to the Lord. Instead of humbly seeking the Lord, the people of Jerusalem had both

It’s more than the addict who lives in denial!

A good specimen of the scoffer is Shebna. Shebna was a servant of good King Hezekiah, both a steward . . . over the house and a scribe (2 Kings 18:18, Isaiah 37:2). These were both positions of honor and responsibility. Shebna was one of King Hezekiah’s chief assistants.

Isaiah prophesies that the people of Judah and Jerusalem would be carried away into exile, but Shebna didn’t believe it. He built this elaborate tomb to himself in Jerusalem, as if to say, “I will never be carried away in exile. I am so certain that I will die here that I will build my tomb here.”

It is a very interesting description of how the Lord stripped Shebna of his office (especially in the Message translation) and gave it to Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. God will get His work done! The question for me is whether or not I want to be a part of it by faith, or to miss the opportunity due to my unbelief!

So while Shebna’s peg came crashing down, Eliakim was being established.

Interesting that the Lord uses this passage to speak of Himself in Revelation 3:7:

These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.”

Jesus is the one with the keys of Hades and of Death (Revelation 1:8), who has all authority both in heaven and on earth. I want to hang the all of my hopes on my Tent Peg, Jesus Christ (Zechariah 10:4).

And I need not fear what kind of vessel I am that hangs on that peg, for there are many different vessels in the Lord’s house, with many different sizes and purposes. But they all must hang on the same peg! All are equally wrecked if they drop from the peg. The safety isn’t in the size or the quality of the vessel, but in its attachment to the peg.

Judah and Shebna saw the prophecy given to Isaiah all of this come to pass, just as God had said.

Divine Tent Peg, be my surety, my stability and my confidence. May I be like Eliakim, one who can help hold others up because of believing in You and Your word. Keep me from being a Shebna and trusting in my own power. I want to live a life where I can hear from You and believe it and move forth with confidence. Thank You for Your clear and faithful warnings. In Jesus’ name, Amen.