Reading through the Bible together
Isaiah is an artist and a painter but his art is in words. In panels he presents his artwork. In this chapter the first panel is the valley of vision (v. 1). He pictures people standing on the top of their houses frightened because the city streets were full of noise from those slain in battle but who did not die immediately (v. 2).
Also the rulers had fled out of the city but were captured (v. 3).
Isaiah felt terrible about this disaster and wants to weep bitterly (v. 4). It is the day, says Isaiah that “the Lord God of hosts will allow a day of panic and confusion in the Valley of Vision” (v. 5). Joel said “for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14). In Joel it is the Second Coming of Christ with the saints safely home in Heavenly Zion where the Lord has a refuge for His people. The people mentioned by Isaiah did not make it. It is a day of crying on the mountain (v. 5d). It appears as if Isaiah is painting for us what will happen shortly before the Second Coming of Christ.
Isaiah’s next word-picture describes Jerusalem. The valleys nearby were full of horses and chariots ready for attack (vv. 6,7). Then the Lord removed the protection from Judah (v. 8). The problem with the inhabitants of the city of David was that they depended on their weapons in the forest (v. 8b) instead of on the Lord. They repaired the walls, did some water-engineering, and then even tore down houses to fortify the wall (vv. 9-10). But there would be weeping and wailing (similar as it will be at the time of the end). The weeping and wailing from these faithful ones was wrong. Their focus was not on God, but on something else. They were “eating and drinking for tomorrow they would die, and there would be no atonement for them “even to your death” (vv. 12-14).
Shebna, who is in charge of the treasury, wants to have a royal funeral for himself in Jerusalem (vv. 15-16). His punishment is that the Lord will grasp him, role him like a ball into a vast country and to his own horror “there you will die” (v. 17). The Lord will drive him out of his office and do this to him because he is a “shame of his master’s house” and replace him with Eliakim (vv.18-20). This man’s authority will be powerful. He will be like a “beg in a firm place” and when he shuts a door no one can open it (vv. 21-23). Glory and honor as well as worldly fame will be his (v. 24).
Isaiah’s panel of the palace of Hezekiah in his own day stops here and he wants to show another panel of the Second Coming, with which he started this chapter: “In that day, says the Lord, “the pegs driven in a firm place will give way” (v. 25). At the Second Coming, worldly honors, degrees, certificates, plaques, medallions, crowns, robes, are all cut off and drop to the ground for at the Resurrection and the move to heaven, they are no longer needed.
Isaiah touches us with the end time awareness and we thank You for that. Lord, grant that we will place You first in our lives and forsake the world to secure Jesus. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea