Look To The Lord
22:1 An oracle concerning the Valley of Vision:
What troubles you now, that you have all gone up on the roofs, 2 O town full of commotion, O city of tumult and revelry? Your slain were not killed by the sword,
nor did they die in battle.
3 All your leaders have fled together; they have been captured without using the bow.
All you who were caught were taken prisoner together, having fled while the enemy was still far away.
4 Therefore I said, "Turn away from me; let me weep bitterly. Do not try to console me
over the destruction of my people."
5 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, has a day of tumult and trampling and terror in the Valley of Vision, a day of battering down walls and of crying out to the mountains. 6 Elam takes up the quiver, with her charioteers and horses; Kir uncovers the shield. 7 Your choicest valleys are full of chariots, and horsemen are posted at the city gates; 8 the defenses of Judah are stripped away. And you looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest; 9 you saw that the City of David had many breaches in its defenses; you stored up water in the Lower Pool. And you looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest; you saw that the City of David had many breaches in its defenses; you stored up water in the Lower Pool. 10 You counted the buildings in Jerusalem and tore down houses to strengthen the wall. 11 You built a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.
12 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth. 13 But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! "Let us eat and drink," you say, "for tomorrow we die!"
14 The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: "Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for," says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
15 This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:
"Go, say to this steward, to Shebna, who is in charge of the palace: 16 What are you doing here and who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock?
17 "Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, O you mighty man. 18 He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die and there your splendid chariots will remain — you disgrace to your master's house! 19 I will depose you from your office, and you will be ousted from your position.
20 "In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21 I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 23 I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat of honor for the house of his father. 24 All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots — all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.
25 "In that day," declares the Lord Almighty, "the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down." The Lord has spoken. (NIV)
The enemy is coming. The leaders in Jerusalem have fled. They have been overtaken and killed or captured. A steward, a servant in the palace, has now taken charge. He is only out to serve himself. He leads those in the palace in revelry saying, let us enjoy ourselves for God will not save us, we are doomed. He wants to make a name for himself, so he has prepared a burial place for himself where kings are buried.
The people have taken steps to defend the city, but then they sat down and prepared to die. "Let us eat and drink," they say, "for tomorrow we die!"
God called them to seek Him, to cry out with weeping and wailing, and instead they reveled and said to themselves “it is hopeless, we cannot win.”
Their faith was in themselves and they gave up hope. Their trust was not placed where it should have been placed.
Where is our faith today? Are we trusting in ourselves and what we can do? Are we trusting in a new building to breathe new life into our old and dying church?
We are here to glorify God by putting our faith in Him and following wherever He leads.
We are about to embark on a new chapter in the life of the Green Valley Church. Will we face the future relying on God?
He is leading us. Will we follow Him?
I encourage each of you to pray and seek God. What will be your role in this new chapter for our congregation? Will you get behind the plans and efforts being made to see our church grow?
God is leading and He has a plan for good for Green Valley. Are we following Him and trusting Him to lead or will we insist that everything be done the way it was always done before?
Shebna wanted to build a monument to himself. God had other plans.
Eliakim was coming. His name means “Sent by God”. God was not just telling about Eliakim and what was happening in Isaiah’s day. God was telling about the One who would come who had the authority of heaven. The Anointed one, the Sent One, would come one day. The doors He opens could not be shut. What He shuts, no one can open.
This is a story about living in the flesh or living in the Spirit. Listening to God or following our own desires and seeking to meet our own needs; thinking only of ourselves or thinking of saving souls.
We are called to be witnesses to the greatest king that will ever exist. Jesus Christ became a man, God took on flesh to convince the world of His great love for us. God became a living human being, The Son that was sent by the Heavenly Father to win the hearts of people.
Shebna and many of the people of his day had given up hope of God ever rescuing them. They knew the stories of old about how God had brought their people through difficult circumstances before. But they had no faith of their own to see God move in their day.
We must not be like Shebna. We must believe that God will move and work in our day. He has not taken us through the fire to give up on us. He will work in our church again.
We must support those who are beginning to take the lead in reaching out to our community with love and with the truth that God loves us and He is our Lord.
Things will not always go the way we want them to go or the way we think they should go. Trust God that He is leading, even when we cannot see the way before us.
We have some activities planned in a few weeks. I am calling each of you to do all you can to see these activities are successful. Tell your friends and families that God is moving here and you want them to join us to see Him work. Come and man the walls of the city to see it defended against the lies of the enemy. The enemy will tell us lies to discourage us. He will sow seeds of discord among the people to cause division and mistrust.
God will lead you to love one another and to support those who are taking the lead to see that the work of ministry goes forward.
“You did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.” (verse 11)
Where are we looking today? We are walking through a country we have not traveled before and we need to be led by God. We need to surrender our will to His will and trust Him to lead.
A new generation is coming along to take this congregation to places it has never been before. Encourage them. Pray for them. Roll up your sleeves and get involved.
We are not called to sit in church and watch while others do the work. If we are born of the Spirit… if we are saved… if we are walking in the Spirit we will give until it hurts. We will work because God is going to use us to do great things in the Green Valley community.
Work and Pray. Give and sweat. Trust and Obey.
Do you know what it will take to see this congregation growing again? It will take each of us surrendering to the will of God, giving up what we want, and following where He leads. Doing church any other way is not good enough.
Look to the One True God. Trust Him to lead us. He loves us and that will never change. Look to the Lord!