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God’s Word for You

Isaiah 22:20-24

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, February 7, 2008

In this second “case study,” the Lord looks with approval on another of Hezekiah’s servants, Eliakim.

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. (NIV)

Eliakim was raised up by God to take Shebna’s place. It seems that Shebna stayed on in a lesser position for some time after this; Isaiah 36:3 mentions both men when Eliakim was palace administrator and Shebna was now the secretary (also cf. Isaiah 37:2). These were some of the same men who would ask the Assyrian field commander not to speak to the people in Hebrew so as not to disturb the people of Jerusalem during the siege (2 Kings 18:26).

Sometimes men who serve God are led astray by temptations that come with responsibility and power. One man named Demas was a faithful servant of the church who visited Paul in prison (Colossians 4:14) but who later deserted Paul “because he loved this world” (2 Timothy 4:10). We need to do everything we can to keep our churches’ servants out of temptation’s way (your pastor, for example, should not be required to count the offering money alone). We also need to pray for them, that God will drive them “like a peg into a firm place,” so that the cords of God’s holy temple are secure on their teaching and ministry.

A faithful pastor, teacher or minister will be “a seat of honor” for his congregation or school—his teaching and to an extent even his reputation will linger there long after he is gone (1 Samuel 2:8). His legacy is the faith his people have in their Savior.

This is the Savior who gave his life for us because he loves us, to rescue us from our sins. He is the Peg that will never give way; the foundation we stand on forever.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.