Isaiah 22 The Voice (VOICE)
22 A message about the valley of Vision:
What in the world is wrong with you?
Why have you climbed on your housetops and started celebrating?
2 What noise! The whole city is in an uproar.
Don’t you realize that your fallen comrades didn’t actually die fighting,
3 That your leaders turned tail together and ran,
only to be captured without a fight, without even drawing their weapons?
The rest of you tried to run far away
but were still captured.
4 This is why I said, “Just leave me alone;
let me weep bitterly over this travesty.
Don’t tell me it’s not that bad, or that everything will be all right.
We’re talking about the destruction of my cherished people!”
5 The Lord, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies,
determined that this would be the time for destruction—
Smashing and crashing, wreaking havoc and chaos in the valley of Vision,
battering down walls and crying out to the mountains.
6 You tried, but how could you hold off Elam’s skilled archers
with chariots and horsemen and Kir’s soldiers—shields held high.
7 The invader’s chariots overran your pristine valleys,
and their horsemen made their stand at the city gates.
8 But God simply did away with Judah’s defenses.
In that day you put your trust in weapons stored in the armory.
9 You began to fix the many breaks in the walls of the city of David.
You stocked up on water from the lower pool.
10 You took stock of the houses in Jerusalem,
and began to dismantle them stone-by-stone to shore up the city wall.
11 You built a reservoir between two walls to hold the water of the old pool.
But in all this you neglected the One who could really save you;
You failed to consider the One who actually made this place
and established it so long ago.
12 Consequently, the Lord, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies,
determined that day would be a time of weeping and regret,
A time of shaved heads and donning sackcloth
and a time for mourning.
13 Yet you missed the point and made merry,
slaughtering cattle and sheep for a giant celebration,
Eating and drinking your fill of wine!
People (to each other): Eat up, drink up, for tomorrow we die.
14 Eternal One (to Isaiah): This sin will not be forgiven.
It will stay with you until your dying day.
That’s what the Lord, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, said.
This message beginning with verse 15 is laid on the people of God living in and around Jerusalem. The prophet’s word is a corrective to those who proudly and confidently presume that they enjoy a privileged status with God by virtue of where they live and who their ancestors are. After all, God has pledged to King David that his dynasty will continue. The Judeans assume this means they will not have to worry about their enemies, regardless of how faithful or faithless they are to God. So when the enemy threat materializes on their border and moves right into bowshot, they do what most people do: they make reasonable, defensive preparations. But what they forget to do is key: they forget to turn to God. They put their trust in their weapons and their engineering skills. They ignore the One who established the city and made them a nation in the first place. So God tells Isaiah to have a talk with Shebna, the caretaker of the royal palace. God is about to make a change.
Eternal One: 15 Come on. Go to Shebna, the caretaker of the royal household,
and confront him saying,
16 “Why are you here, anyway? Do you really belong here?
What right do you have to build yourself an elegant tomb
And stone monument here out of the rock on this hill?
17 Look, strong man! The Eternal is about to throw you out,
wildly, violently. With a firm grasp
18 He will crush you like a ball—hurl you deep into a land
far, far away where you go to die.
You will be known as the shame of your master’s house
and your splendid chariots will lie empty.
19 I will see to it that you’re driven from your post, toppled from your position,
with all the disgrace and shame that you deserve.
20 When that day comes, I will summon My faithful servant;
Eliakim the son of Hilkiah will be called
21 To take over and assume your authority and office.
I will clothe him in your royal robes and fasten your sash securely around him.
He will be a father to the people:
He will have authority over Jerusalem and Judah.
22 I will grant him the key to David’s royal house and
no one can shut what he opens;
no one can open what he shuts.
23 I will attach him securely like a peg to that house,
and he will bring honor to his father and his family.
24 On him will hang all the riches,
all the honor, of his family’s future.
25 On the appointed day, the peg that was attached so securely to that house
will become weak, break off, and fall to the ground.
And everything that had been hung on it will fall down and shatter.
The Eternal One, Commander of heavenly armies, has declared it to be so.