Miles to go...

I have miles to go... please pray each day for the next leg of my Biblical journey!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 50: The Long Fall From A High Horse

Isaiah 22:15-18

New Living Translation (NLT)

A Message for Shebna

15 This is what the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, said to me: “Confront Shebna, the palace administrator, and give him this message:
16 “Who do you think you are,
    and what are you doing here,
building a beautiful tomb for yourself—
    a monument high up in the rock?
17 For the Lord is about to hurl you away, mighty man.
    He is going to grab you,
18 crumple you into a ball,
    and toss you away into a distant, barren land.
There you will die,
    and your glorious chariots will be broken and useless.
    You are a disgrace to your master!


Do you remember the chapter I wrote about liberal propaganda? The Assyrian king had sent some of his people to taunt King Hezekiah in an attempt to scare the people in Judah.The point was to make them more compliant when the Assyrians besieged Jerusalem. That is the time frame for this story. We're going to talk a guy named Shebna.

Now, I'm a little confused as to what Shebna's job actually was. In 2 Kings 18, he's named as the court secretary who is hanging out with Joah, the royal historian, and Eliakim, who is referred to as the palace administrator. But we see here in Isaiah 22, Shebna is named as the palace administrator who is succeeded by Eliakim. Maybe Shebna had been demoted shortly before the Assyrians came in spreading their lies and inuendo. 

Anyway, it's not really important what position he had, it's just important to understand what affect it had on Shenab's character. Any high ranking position came with a great deal of responsibility, but also came with a lot of royal perks. I think it's safe to say that Shenab was more interested in enjoying the perks than in taking care of his responsibilities. He enjoyed the pomp and circumstance. He loved riding around in his beautiful chariots, showing off how important he was.

If scripture lays out all his abuses of power, I don't recall reading them. But apparently at some point he'd decided to have a huge, beautiful tomb carved out of solid rock, that he could one day be laid to rest in. This was a custom usually reserved only for royalty, and even though Shenab was high ranking, he wasn't born into royalty himself. What an over-inflated ego! What an insult to the king! After all, he wasn't voted into the office he held, he'd been appointed there, either by King Hezekiah (who was one of the good guys who loved the Lord), or by his father, King Ahaz.

Such egotistical displays of grandeur to himself indicated a lack of self-control, and a lack of appreciation or respect for his king. He was a steward who wasn't demonstrating good stewardship. He didn't deserve the position he'd been given, and God was a little annoyed with him over it. Enough so that He sent the prophet Isaiah to put him in his place.

What the heck do you think you're doing, building yourself such a monument up there? For that matter, just who do you think you are? You're not of royal descent, you have no business building yourself a memorial to be remembered forever! You've wasted your own time and the king's, because God's about to knock you off our high horse so hard that you're going to crumple into a little wad and land somewhere out in the desert where you will die a slow, painful death. He's going to give your robes, your title, and your authority to Eliakim and give him the keys to the House of David. He will become the highest ranking person in the kings court, because he's a man that can handle the job and will get things done. He will live up to his responsibility. Where you have been a total disgrace to your master, Eliakim will bring honor even to the poorest member of his family.
So that's what pride will get ya. A very long fall from a very tall steed. 

We really live as though we are the center of our own little universe, don't we? Come on, admit it. We all do it. God doesn't want us to be full of self-importance. If anything is revolving around us, it had better be our responsibilities, not our ego. It had better be those we serve, not those who serve us. We'd better be sure that we put all that we have been entrusted with as a higher priority than our own desires. The needs of others must be more important than our own. God doesn't get along very well with mean, selfish people. 

But He sure loves those who are humble before Him.


  1. When God appoints us to a task it is not because we are any better than anyone else it is so that we can take the hand of those who need help and draw them up ... like a teacher with children patiently guiding and tutoring ..not that we can proclaim ourselves better in any way shape or form..and as surely as we do see ourselves above another one in Christ we will indeed learn the lesson of Shebna...
    it is so funny you should be posting this as very subject has been on my mind for the last 4 days..the seriousness of looking down on others and the seriousness of God's displeasure for such arrogant foolishness on our part...
    Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
    Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
    Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    Php 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
    Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

  2. oh THANK you for commenting! i wish i'd get more feedback on my blogs! i honestly had a hard time with this one.