An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem
22 The oracle concerning the valley of vision.
What do you mean that you have gone up,
all of you, to the housetops,
you who are full of shoutings,
tumultuous city, exultant town?
Your slain are not slain with the sword
or dead in battle.
All your leaders have fled together;
without the bow they were captured.
All of you who were found were captured,
though they had fled far away.
Therefore I said:
“Look away from me;
let me weep bitter tears;
do not labor to comfort me
concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
For the Lord GOD of hosts has a day
of tumult and trampling and confusion
in the valley of vision,
a battering down of walls
and a shouting to the mountains.
And Elam bore the quiver
with chariots and horsemen,
and Kir uncovered the shield.
Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.
He has taken away the covering of Judah.
In that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that the breaches of the city of David were many. You collected the waters of the lower pool, and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.
In that day the Lord GOD of hosts
called for weeping and mourning,
for baldness and wearing sackcloth;
and behold, joy and gladness,
killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
eating flesh and drinking wine.
“Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.”
The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
“Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
says the Lord GOD of hosts.
Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is over the household, and say to him: What have you to do here, and whom have you here, that you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you who cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? Behold, the LORD will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. He will seize firm hold on you and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be your glorious chariots, you shame of your master’s house. I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. In that day I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his father’s house. And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father’s house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 22 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The Valley of Vision refers to Jerusalem. The hub of the nation, judgment was coming through attacks from foreign lands. One would think the people would turn to Him for help. Strangely, that would not be the case. The people would instead rely on their own resources and ingenuity. This was not going to turn out well.
I’m struck through all these ongoing prophecies against the people of Israel, against the unholy alliances with nations and judgment coming to them even of how God warned them. It’s not like they didn’t see any of this coming. They were given graphic detail of their fall. They still trusted in their own resources and plans. They never repented.
The wayward heart is hard to tame. A heart set upon our own values and ideologies has a hard time turning. There are many I know who struggle with this aspect of their heart. They are Believers but lack obedience. They lack follow through when the Holy Spirit begins meddling and drawing them in one area. Instead it’s almost like they baton down the hatches and belligerently move in their own thought or compromise.
It never ends well.
There is story after story of people I’ve seen do this. Many today stand in the wreckage of such determination to do things their way. They’ve lost much. Not only have relationships failed and fallen away, they’ve paid personally in ways that will take so much to heal. Most importantly they have become desensitized to the Spirit of God and His voice beckoning them.
When we trust in ourselves and our own plans rather than God’s we will not prevail. When we fail to surrender wherever the Spirit is leading, we will lose many things. When we decide to pursue our own goals, we will be unsatisfied.
Are there areas where the Spirit is leading you that you’ve been resistant? Are there situations where God is calling you forward in some major decision but you’re reason is getting in the way of your trust?
Isaiah 22 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
How do you handle the immense spiritual burdens of others?
Isaiah wept over Israel. You can feel his raw emotion in verse 4. He refuses comfort in his mourning because of his bitter sadness. Why does he feel such extreme grief?
The people around him cannot see their own human depravity. In verse 1, Isaiah refers to Israel as the valley of the vision. This is because they often received vision from God regarding their future. Jerusalem is continually referred to as Mount Zion, but here, the term is definitely being used sarcastically. Though they were high on Mount Zion, they were spiritually in a valley. Though they should have possessed incredible vision, they could not see the future destruction.
Isaiah’s grief is heavy.
Any parent can relate to these emotions. As older, wiser adults, there are many times we try and instruct our children not to follow our same footsteps in life. Many of us, however, have strong-willed, stubborn kids. They want to do it their own way. Although we can clearly see where their path will lead them, they can’t – and they continue to walk forward. It’s heart-breaking.
What is so striking about this chapter is how Isaiah reacts to it. So, here is my question again – how do you handle the immense spiritual burdens of others? Most of us want to retreat. The easy thing is to avoid them. At the bare minimum, we offer a prayer or two for the person. But we don’t want it to upset our apple cart.
Not Isaiah. He refuses comfort. He wants to be as deeply touched by this as he possible can be. In fact, Isaiah, much like Jesus, wants to enter into the pain with Israel. He wants to jump down into the pit and mourn for them. Isaiah wants his heart to burn for his people.
Do we do this? Are we willing to go jump in the muck with others? Are we regularly committed to carrying burdens with authenticity and perseverance?