A key and a tent stake. The 2 powerful leadership “tools” God used in Isaiah 22:15-25.
A constant reminder that it is God who appoints and sets leaders on thrones, administrators in high offices, as He pleases . Along with it is also a constant reminder that the “kingly entitlements” , i.e, the privileges that come along with power , can make us puffed up which is a sure recipe for destruction.
Take the case of Shebna, the palace administrator who was confronted by Isaiah. He gets puffed up, and “made a beautiful tomb for himself— a monument high up in the rock (v. 16)”. Familiar, isn’t it? In Philippines’ context, this is the height of ‘ka-epalan’ (a Filipino lingo used to describe someone who tries to get attention)! Even if we are not elected officials, we be careful that we don’t get into this trap that so easily entangles us! Pride puffs us up! If we take on a big assignment for personal agenda, we only feed our ego, hence, making ourselves vulnerable to a “Shebna moment”. God forbid we will be hurled away, crumpled, tossed into a barren land – a disgrace to our Master! (v. 17-18)
On the other hand, humility sets us up to greater heights for His purpose. Eliakim’s installment as the new administrator is a beautiful picture of how God can use anybody and make him great to accomplish His greater purpose. Picture this – Eliakim takes on Shebna’s royal robes, title and authority (v. 21) and is given the 2 leadership tools that I have been talking about :
- THE KEY ( to the house of David) – “When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.” (v. 22b)
When God uses you, there’s no stopping you! In our family, there are times when we cannot understand how He makes things happen but whenever He gives a vision, He always has the provision! Recently, my husband took on a ministry assignment for an international organization. Left to ourselves and to our limited human understanding, we couldn’t understand why, but when God made it clear that He will use my husband in this area and at this time, that open door was never shut. In the same manner that there were business deals that were closed, only to find out later that those were meant to protect us and spare us from a greater adversity.
2. THE TENT STAKE – “He will bring honor to his family name, for I will drive him firmly in place like a tent stake. He will be loaded down with responsibility, and he will bring honor to even the lowliest members of his family.” (V.23,24) .
I remember my husband and son looking for sturdy stones to drive stakes securely whenever they set up our tent in the yard so they can just have their “MAN time” , spending the night outside, sleeping inside the tent like it is the manliest thing to do to secure the ladies inside the house! Without the stakes, the tent will not be put securely in place. And driving them harder still to the ground doubles it up. This is exactly what God does when he puts us in a place worthy of His honor. Wherever He places us, we may even be overwhelmed by the responsibility, know that He is our security. Like that strongly-driven tent stake!
But in all these, true leaders acknowledge that just as God has put them in that high place, He can also uproot them there (v.25). He can drive the stake so firmly and He can also pull it away – at His command! He does this so no one can boast out of his own effort, skills and knowledge and He will do so only to accomplish His greater purpose. He points us to our source of security, Jesus Christ, the one who unlocks all closed doors and opens new ones. Who took all our burdens and made it His own, conquering death so we may live with Him in eternity!
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end.He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” – Isaiah 9:6-7