Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, who is over the [king’s] house, and say, What have you here, that you have hewed you out a sepulchre here, as he who hews him out a sepulchre on high, and that engraves an habitation for himself in a rock? Behold, the Lord will carry you away with a mighty captivity, and He will surely cover thee. He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country. There shall you die, and there the chariots of your glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house. And I will drive you from your station, and from your state shall he pull you down. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. And I will clothe him with your robe, and strengthen him with your girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder. So he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue; all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, says the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off, for the Lord hath spoken it.”
From Pastor John’s Old Testament class: “Lessons from Isaiah”, No. 41.
Here we have one of the great prophecies of Christ Jesus in the Old Testament. As often was the case in the Old Testament, the prophecy was concealed within a real historical situation. The ancient people in this story who were living out these events knew nothing of the hidden prophecy. They were like Abraham, who did not know that two thousand years after he died, an apostle of God named Paul would see in Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael and Isaac, hidden prophecies of two covenants which God would make with man. It is only on this side of the cross that we can see what God did in the lives of those ancient people. Before Jesus came, the wisdom of God was hidden within the lives of the men and women God used, and it was hidden so well that those people themselves did not even suspect that they were being used for that purpose.
In this story, the treasurer named Eliakim held great power under the king of Judah, who by virtue of his being king was also the head of the house of David. Eliakim’s power was so great that he was looked to as a father of the people. He had complete authority to refuse or to allow access to the king. If he shut the door to anyone, no one could overrule his decision and enter the palace, and if he opened the door to anyone, no one could overrule his decision and keep that invited person out. But Eliakim was unworthy of his high position, and God replaced him with someone worthy of the office.
In John’s Revelation, Jesus sent this message to the pastor in Philadelphia: “He who is holy, he who is true, he who holds the key of David, he who opens and no one will close, who closes and no one opens, says these things: I know your works. Because your strength is small, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name, know that I have set before you an open door that no one can shut.”
Jesus told his disciples (Jn. 14:6), “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus alone grants access to the Father, and if he refuses access to a man, there is no way that man can ever enter into the presence of God. Jesus is like a father to the people of God because of the great authority given to him by God, but God Himself is the greatest one; all of Jesus’ authority comes from Him. “The Father is greater than I,” said Jesus (Jn. 14:28), and for this reason Jesus both taught his followers to fear God (Lk. 12:4-5) and he feared God himself (Heb. 5:7).
The Law of Moses, like Eliakim, was judged unworthy to hold the power it held over God’s people. Eliakim used his position to oppress God’s beloved people, but God loved His children too much to leave them in the hands of either Eliakim or the Law of Moses, which also was a burden that the people of God could hardly bear (Acts 15:10). So, God replaced the Law with Jesus. And God did with Jesus as He said He would do: “I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue.”
But wicked men hated Jesus because they were using the Law to oppress God’s people, and because of them, as God said, “the nail that is fastened in the sure place shall be removed and be cut down, and fall.” In a parable, Jesus warned those wicked men that God would cut Israel off and turn to the Gentiles if they harmed him (Mt. 21:33-43), but they killed him anyway, not fearing the consequences. The burden of Jesus for Israel was so great that at times he broke down and wept, but after he was raised from the dead and Israel was given a last call, the awful prophecy was fulfilled: “the burden that was upon [him] shall be cut off, for the Lord hath spoken it.”
To hold the key of David was a very great honor; it was the key to all the treasures of the kingdom. Eliakim was honored to be given the key to David’s earthly kingdom, but he became proud and was rejected. Jesus was honored by God with the key to His eternal kingdom, and he humbled himself and was blessed. Now, in Christ Jesus “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” because he holds the real key of David, for which the physical key that Eliakim held was only a fleeting shadow. Poor fool. He lost his soul by becoming proud of something of earth that merely represented a heavenly reality.
The Bible is full of such marvelous prophecies of Christ Jesus, but just as the mind of man was blind to them before Jesus came, the mind of man is blind to them now unless we humble ourselves to receive what Jesus purchased for us with his blood – the Spirit of God, which alone can reveal to us the mysteries of the kingdom of our God.