Old Testament passage for Monday, September 16, 2013: Isaiah 22:1-24:23
20 ‘Then it shall be in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; 21 I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. Isaiah 22:20-23 (NKJV)
Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, was a nobody. We know almost nothing about this man. But, out of nowhere, God elevated him to become one of the most powerful men in Israel.
His predecessor, Shebna, had been the head of finance under King Hezekiah. But, greed and corruption brought him down. This sounds like something right out of today's newspapers. It is interesting to note that human nature has always been the same. Government is a battlefield in which the true tendencies of men are made plain and open.
Shebna fell. But, God had Eliakim ready. God CLOTHED him, STRENGTHENED him, and SANCTIONED him.
In times of moral upheaval, we need men and women like Eliakim. They are clothed in Christ's righteousness. They have the belt of truth -- honesty and integrity (Eph. 6:14). And they know how to walk in the authority of Christ. That's what keys are all about.
Keys mean ownership and authority. Keys symbolize the ability to BIND AND LOOSE. As servants of God, we have the ability of open and close doors.
It is in this very area that Shebna failed. He could not handle God's blessing. Sanction and authority are easily misused. Our flesh is tempted toward self-gratification.
May we be faithful like Eliakim so that God's glorious plans can go forward. That's my prayer. I hope it is yours, too.