Isaiah 22:15-25 A Peg for God

Everyone places their hope and trust in someone or something whether they realize it or not. For some they place it on themselves for others they place it on other people and for others on their circumstances. Today we are going to talk about two people that other people tend to hang their life on and how we really should only place it on Jesus Christ.  God will call one of the men a peg because he could be trusted by others to hold them up. A peg was usually a hook or nail that was hammered into the center pole of the tent or a wall that many items could be hung on . Many times we hang on to the wrong pegs to get us through life and we have to be careful where we place our trust and hopes because the wrong peg can break and everything that was hanging onto it will be broken.

Isaiah 22:15-25 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.”

1)   Pegs  are not focused on themselves

“What are you doing here?” Shebna was a chancellor of the kingdom early in Hezekiah’s reign and he thought he was a big deal but he was focused on his wants and his needs and not the needs and concerns of others. There is no ancestry mentioned about him which is unusual for a person of his stature and it shows that the writers of history did not see him as important as he saw himself.  Shebna was having workers cut out an elaborate tomb for himself in a place that would have made his name be known forever because it was located where people of nobility were buried.  While he should have been tending to the needs of the people he was worried about his legacy and having his name next to other people who were important. There was no reason for him to be doing what he was doing because he was not to be buried where he wanted to be buried because he was not that important. When you make yourself more important than you really are you do things that are not only self-seeking but also that do not make sense.

We are not called to make our name great we are called to make the name of Jesus great and to worry about our own glory and fame is the very thing Satan wanted. In Isaiah 14 when we talked about Satan that was the attitude he had about himself. “

Isaiah 14:13-14 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly  in the far reaches of the north;[c] 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;  I will make myself like the Most High.’

“Glorious Chariots” Shebna strolled around town in a chariot that was made for royalty to draw attention to himself. Everything he did was to make others think that he was important,butGod let him know that he was a disgrace to the one he served because he wanted to make it look like he was as important as the King himself.

“I will drive you out of office” There is no mistake of who is talking here and it is God who identifies Himself as the one who is going to drive him out of office, crumple him up, and throw him into a foreign land. Some say that it is better translated “Overwhelm you” rather than “hurl you” but either way it shows that God is going to destroy him because of his pride and selfishness. Shebna was demoted at some point by Hezekiah to a secretary position (Isaiah 36:3) probably because he was focused on himself instead of the affairs of the people and there is nothing recorded about him after that.

Some of the failures of the people to prepare properly and to be more concerned about what was taking place could have been contributed to him only caring about himself because when leaders focus on themselves the people they serve suffer. The man who thought he would make his name great is only recorded in history as a man who was arrogant and who was later destroyed by God.

Why do we hang our lives on the peg of people that think they are special?  Actors, Athletes and even some pastors think they are special, and many people flock to hang their lives on them. There is a thing called “Celebrity Pastor” and it is people who like their pastor to be the one who has written the books and who does the conferences and who is famous. Each one of us has a role to play and to focus on ourselves and not the people God has called us to care for is a dereliction of duty. This place is not our home and so we do not need to worry about our legacy because this place is not going to matter in the future. Where is your focus? Is it on yourself or on the people God has placed in your life to serve?

2)   Pegs are Placed by God

Because Shebna was not doing his job God now establishes a true spiritual leader for the people. Eliakim which means “God will establish” was the son of Hilkiah which means my portion is Yahweh. Do you see yourself as being placed somewhere by God for others?  Do you see the hand of God taking you (the peg) and nailing you into the wall or tent post so others can hang on you in their time of need? Never underestimate that where you are is exactly where God has placed you for a purpose that is not about you but about others for His glory. (Acts 17:26-27)

3)   Pegs are there to serve

“I will call My Servant” There is not a better title that can be given to a follower of Jesus than to be called by God as “My Servant” It is here that we see the difference between the two men because one was focused on himself and his thoughts and his desires and the other one who had no concern but to be faithful to God by serving others.  One wanted his name to be known forever and one wanted to put others above himself.

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

In Philippians 2 Jesus modeled for us to be servants and to lay down ourselves for the glory of God.  In a world that is about making each one’s name great God calls us to be servants.

“Robe and Sash” God takes the job away from Shebna and gives it to Eliakim and gives him Priestly attire not to show how special he was but to show what his role was.  “We do not have a place in this world; we have a role in this world” Brent Crowe  God calls us to put on certain clothes to carry out our daily task and the clothes God ask us to put on our spiritual clothes that are different from what the world would say to wear.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

  • Compassionate hearts: We have to care about others and what they are going through.
  • Kindness: The second word used to describe true love in 1 Corinthians 13
  • Humility: seeing others as more important than ourselves.
  • Meekness: willing to suffer injury instead of inflicting it
  • Patient: the first attribute mentioned about Love the willingness to wait and see what God does in a person’s life.
  • Bearing with one another: to take up the other persons burden (Be a peg)
  • Forgiveness: Just like Christ forgave us.
  • Are these the clothes you are putting on every day?

4)   Pegs care about others

“Father of the People” He would be concerned for their welfare, and tenderhearted toward them like a father to a son and because of that Eliakim would have a positive impact on his nation.

“The Key of the house of David” Eliakim would oversee who could and who could not see the King and over the treasury of the Kingdom. In a similar way we hold the Keys to Heaven (Matthew 16:19) when we tell people about Jesus Christ who is the door (John 10:7) Although the Keys to the Kingdom of God has been twisted by cults to say something it really is just the key to Heaven is faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

5)   Pegs can be counted on to carry the weight of others

“A Peg in a secure place” God made Eliakim to be able to hold many responsibilities and the ability to carry the weight that others put on him. He would be a man who could be counted on and would rule with dignity and honor.

6)   Pegs will eventually break

“The Peg will give way” The story takes an interesting turn just as you are hearing of all the good news and what will happen it quickly shifts to that the peg will be broken off.  As great as Eliakim was he was still only a human being and so a time would come when he would not be able to carry the weight that was put on him.  Unlike Shebna he was not trying to make a name for himself or literally carve out his place in history but he just lived and did what he was supposed to do until God removed him. This is actually a Messianic Promise that there will be one who will come and who can carry the weight of the world.  Our hope is never to be placed on people fully but only on Christ. Although people might rely on us we have to teach them that their ultimate hope is found in Jesus Christ.

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