Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 29th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 22

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-25

  1. JERUSALEM! (22)
    1. Jerusalem Devastated! (1-14)
    2. Jerusalem is surrounded by valleys on 3 sides(Tyropoeon, Kidron, Hinnom).
      1. So this is addressed to the Valley of Visions.
    3. Isaiah describes the Babylonian invasion & siege against Jerusalem led by Nebuchadnezzar in 588-586bc. (2 Kings 25)
    4. (2) Jerusalem is tumultuous/boisterous because people from the surrounding villages/towns have sought refuge behind her walls.
    5. (2b) Famine (2 Kings 25:3)
    6. (3) The city is captured as King Zedekiah flees (2 Kings 25:5)
      1. The inhabitants are captured.
    7. (4) Isaiah was beyond comfort.
    8. (6) Elam(Persia) & Kir(Aramean city) are now allied w/Babylon.
    9. (7) Kidron Valley is filled w/chariots.
    10. (8-11) Depending on your defenses!
      1. Their walls are breached.
      2. The people of Jerusalem attempt to preserve their water supply.
      3. They also tried to shore up the broken walls. Show Pic in Israel.
        1. But to no avail! – Why? They failed to trust the Lord(11b).
      4. Sometimes when we encounter a problem we’ll try every conceivable way…except the right way.
        1. But when we’re dealing with sin…there is only one resolution!
      5. (11b) Ps.127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.”
        1. So many will spend big bucks in the building materials of a house, & forget to build the spiritual infrastructure of what makes that house a HOME!
      6. Q: Do you pray regularly for the public officials in your city?
      7. Q: Do you for God’s sovereign intervention in their leadership?
        1. President, Judges, Police, Fire, Building dept., Border patrol, Code Enforcement(Linda Mejia/They removed 200 tons of trash fromour watershed areas ), Vector Control(Mosquito problem), Mayor, City Council(esp. w/this whole recall issue), School Board?
        2. Just pray while you watch the news regarding different countries!
      8. Yes, houses & cities…but also…
        Unless the Lord builds your company…your sweat is pointless.
        Unless the Lord leads your ministry…your time is worthless.
        Unless the Lord has brought her/him into your life…that relationship is in vain.
        Unless the Lord builds our church…our work is fruitless.
        Unless the Lord builds our families…someone will breach our family’s walls!
      9. Q: Are you fortifying your own walls?
        1. Reminds me of the commercial of a man sweeping a hall next to the shark aquarium. The broom hits the tank, & it starts to crack. He quickly plasters himself against the enormous glass to stop the inevitable!
        2. Q: Are you fortifying your own walls?
    11. (12) The only resolution? Repentance!
      1. God called them to repentance & to exhibit it by shaving their heads & putting on sackcloth.
    12. (13) Instead they choose Revelry…instead of Repentance!
      1. The people had adopted the pagan philosophy “eat, drink, & be merry for tomorrow we die anyways!!!”
        1. “Often in times of crisis there is a dedication to pleasure at all costs because of the insecurity of the future.” (Philip Hacking; Isaiah; Pg.63)
        2. It is either despair or self-indulgence.
      2. Isaiah says regarding Israel’s irresponsible leaders 56:12(NIV), "Come," each one cries, "let me get wine! Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today, or even far better."
      3. Jesus giving a parable about a rich man used this, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' "But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose”
      4. Paul used this, “If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” (1 Cor.15:32)
      5. James(5:5) said it a little bit differently, “You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.”
      6. Instead of calling for a Fast they decided to Feast!
      7. Q: Isn’t this same spirit prevailing today?
        1. Fortify your own Walls! And, Life is a Party!
    13. (14) Their sin would not be forgiven!!!
      1. Wow what was happening w/Isaiah’s heart NOW?
    14. Two Rulers! (15-25)
      1. Not only is God in control of nations but leaders also!
    15. (15-19) Shebna – a government official, 2nd only to the king.
      1. He was pro-Egyptian(sought their alliance)
      2. He used his office for personal gain! (caution)
      3. In taking inventory of the city’s resources, somebody uncovered his deceit & exposed him.
        1. So, instead of enjoying retirement, security, & a fine burial; he experienced captivity, exile, & a lonely death. (Warren Wiersbe; pg.466)
      4. He was replaced with Eliakim.
    16. (20-25) Eliakim – a trusted man, who would care for the people in Judah.
      1. Lovely Titles:
        1. He was a Servant!(serve, not lord it over).
        2. He was like a Father to them(protect, provide, lead, love, release, trust).
        3. He could be trusted w/authority(keys)
          1. Of course this reminds us of our responsibility w/the keys we hold, given 1st to Peter, then generally to all disciples (Mt.16:19; 18:18).
        4. He was like a strong peg in which the nation could hang their burdens.
      2. These are the qualities a leader still needs today!
        1. Mical & I saw a car in front of us the other day w/3 bumper stickers! [Jesus was a Liberal – W.ho W.ould J.esus B.omb? – Vote for John Kerry]
      3. But even Eliakim would be brought down, because of the countries impending judgment.
      4. Q: So, what titles would be placed upon you? Upon your position?
        1. Would they be considered “Lovely” or “Ludicrous”?
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 22". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-22.html. 2017.
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