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The invasion of the land of Judah, is here predicted, and sad events implicated in it: but towards the close, there are many precious promises, typical, as it should seem, of Judah's deliverer, even Christ.
The valley of vision, must mean Judah, for the Psalmist describes it as such, Psalms 125:2 . And the holy city, Jerusalem, is called a land of vision, on account of the prophet's dwelling in it, and delivering their predictions there. And here, the Lord's land, which is the glory of all lands, comes in for her visitation also, because of transgression. The songs of the temple are changed for the cries of the streets; and the people are in distress, in the prospect of the enemy's approach. Reader! what is said here of God's people in general, may be said of every individual in particular: when without are fightings, within will be fears; correction is in the covenant. Psalms 89:0 .
The Prophet, like a true servant of the Lord, though himself had the least hand in bringing down the judgments of God, yet he will be the first to lament them. Alas! when God's corrections are in our land, what would become of it, if the Lord's handful of people were not at prayer? What a gracious and earnest request was that of the king, when he sent to the prophet, to beg of him, to lift up his voice, for the remnant that was left; Isaiah 37:1-4 ; Joel 2:17-18 . Here is a sad representation of the devastations made by the Persian army!
Whatever were the histories in the siege of Judah, as this scripture records, I stay not to inquire; but I think, without violence to the expressions, by the uncovering of Judah, and the breaches of the city of David, we may very safely suppose, it had reference to somewhat more than the mere events themselves, carried on in the siege. May it not be in reference (for I humbly ask the question) to Judah's being made sensible of her hypocrisy and deceitfulness, with her God; by which a breach in the covenant is made, and the Lord now resents it? Judah had sinned, but yet put on a covering of piety; and in her distress, looked to the number of her troops, and the strength of her inhabitants; but lifted not her eyes for help to the Lord, her Maker. Then, saith the Lord, this covering shall be taken off, and she shall be seen as she is. See another beautiful expostulation to this effect, Jeremiah 2:19 .
Reader! do not fail to remark, how the Lord, by the same process of grace, carries on his merciful designs towards his people, in all ages. He visits their offences with the rod, and their sin with scourges. He sends trouble among them, and calls to weeping and prayer. But if, instead of spiritual humblings, they seek to deaden sorrow by carnal enjoyments, and bid defiance as it were to the rod; the affliction is but the more increased. The Prophet interpreted the incurable wickedness of such, to be beyond the reach of all the sacrifices of the law. Reader! what a sweet testimony by the way do we discover here, of the vast and infinite importance of the blood and sacrifice of Christ! If the Reader wishes to enlarge his meditations on this subject, I would refer him to Leviticus 26:14 , to the end. See, also Hosea 2:6 to the end.
The removal of Shebna from the office of treasurer, no doubt, took place in the history of Judah; perhaps in the event of the invasion. But the introduction of the subject here seems to have reference to what the Prophet had in commission to deliver concerning a greater than Shebna, in the close of the chapter. Shebna, therefore, is the representative of every man, who setteth up his rest on this side the land of promise; who takes confidence in anything short of Jesus. Oh! for grace to make a better choice!
The Prophet gives, in these verses, a very pleasing account of the character of Eliakim, and of the Lord's approbation of him. I confess myself inclined to drop all considerations of the servant, to look at the master; for very certain it is, a greater than Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, is here typically represented. I venture to set this down as a fixed and certain thing, because the Lord Jesus himself, when making himself known to his servant John and sending him to communicate what he saw and heard to the churches, declared who he was by this very insignalia, of the key of David, Revelation 3:7 . And, Reader! do observe how the outlines of the Redeemer's office-character, are sketched in those of Eliakim. I will call my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. And who was it that called the Lord Jesus to the service of redemption, and placed him as lord-treasurer over his house? The Holy Ghost expressly tells the church, that Christ glorified not himself to be made an high-priest, but was called of God, as was Aaron, Hebrews 5:4-5 . See Isaiah 42:1-6 ; Matthew 17:5 . And if Eliakim was invested with the robe, and the girdle, and all the government put into his hand, so as to be made a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the house of David; if Eliakim had power to open and shut; and shut, that none should open; if Eliakim was fastened as a nail in a sure place, and became a glorious throne to his father's house, so that all glory should rest upon him; can we refrain a moment, from having our very souls led, instinctively as it were, to all precious, all-glorious Jesus; whose robe of salvation is the everlasting clothing and glory of his redeemed; and whose girdle the faithfulness of the whole covenant, for his people to lay hold of, and hang by in time, and to all eternity? Who but Jesus hath indeed the key of the house of David? Who can open, if he shuts, or who can shut if he opens? Eliakim had but the doors of entrance or exclusion in the palace, or the church, to command; but our Eliakim, the Son of God, hath the key of all hearts, the key of his word, the keys of heaven, death, hell, and the grave. Precious consideration to the believer, and not to be parted with for a thousand worlds. He is a nail indeed, and in a sure place: for on him, Jehovah, our God and Father, hath fastened all the persons, mercies, appointments, blessings temporal, spiritual, and eternal, of his church and people, from all eternity. And on the earthly Eliakim the whole was but hung; it was not his own; neither could he long keep it; for himself and all his appendages had but a day of duration. But with the Eliakim came down from heaven, all the glory which was put upon him, was his own before. For as the Son of God, being one with God, everything which constitutes the Godhead was his, essentially so, in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost: and as God-man Mediator, all power and glory was and is his, both by purchase and by gift, and must be so forever. Surely then, are his people, all his redeemed, will joyfully, and with the most lively acknowledgments of love and praise from the lowest vessel of mercy, to the highest flaggons of servants, who minister before him, hang upon Jesus all the trophies of redemption; crying out with the church, both above and below, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive honour, and glory, and power, and majesty; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood! Revelation 5:9 . And as the chapter closeth, when in that day, the nail fastened in a sure place shall be removed, cut down, and fall; and the burden also upon it, fall together with it; oh! what blessedness is discoverable, in this sweet relation also. For who doth not see in this prophecy, all the great leading characters of redemption by Jesus? He who another prophet saith, was to be anointed as the most Holy, and to be cut off, but not for himself, when finishing sin and transgression? Daniel 9:24-25 . Precious Lord Jesus! thou didst bear the sins of thy people in thine own body, on the tree; and when thou wert cut off, and hadst made thy grave with the wicked, and with the rich in thy death; then was that blessed promise to be fulfilled; to see of the travail of thy soul, and be satisfied; and as thy Father's servant, to justify many in having borne their iniquities! Isaiah 53:9-12 .
BLESSED Jesus! I pass over every lesser subject, and every lesser object, to fix mine eyes on thee, oh thou excelling excellence of all perfection! The burden indeed of the valley of vision. It is the Lord, who for thine own people, thine Israel and Judah after the flesh, hath brought thee forth, as the glorious Eliakim, over thy Father's house, and for the covering of Judah which was by sin uncovered, and for repairing the many many breaches of David, which transgression had opened; thou, and thou only, couldst be competent to perform! All our own attempts, and every aspiring exertion of man, were found but as the pride of Shebna. Nothing could restore what sin had taken away, until thou, the Lord of life and glory, came from heaven, to bring back the waste heritages, and to restore the desolations of many generations. Hail! thou glorious almighty Jesus. Blessed be God our Father, who hath called thee over his house, and committed all government into thine hand, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.
Help us, Lord, to hang all the stress of our salvation, both our being, and our well-being, wholly on thee. And do thou, Lord, for thou only hast the key of David, to do it, open thy treasures of wisdom and knowledge to our raptured view, and open our souls to the enjoyment of them. Open thy word, and open our eyes to see it, and our hearts to enjoy it, our ears to hear, and our tongues to proclaim the wonders of redemption. And oh, Lord! shut out all thoughts that would arise, to rob us of our delight in thee, and our whole dependence upon thee. Let every faculty of our souls, by the almightiness of thy power, be resolutely shut against everything but Jesus. Drive, Lord, every buyer and seller out of thy temple, which is our bodies; and let nothing open our souls to receive ought but thee. Say to our hearts, to our affections, Open, ye gates, that the Lord Jesus, the King of glory, may come in, in the daily, hourly influences of his grace, until he finally and fully open the everlasting gates of heaven, to take us home, to the enjoyment of glory in Jesus forever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 22". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28