Isaiah 22-24

Eat, Drink, and be Merry

The Valley of Vision spoken of in Chapter 22 is Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be surrounded by Nebuchadnezzar about 130 years after this prophesy was written. The first 14 verses deal with that event. Starting with verse 15 Jerusalem will again be surrounded but this time by Assyria. This will take place just a few years after Isaiah writes this prophesy.

In those days the battle plan of the invader was to surround the city and not allow anyone to escape or anyone to come into the city especially if they had food and supplies. The invader would attempt to break through the wall that protected the city or he could simply wait until the city ran out of food and supplies. But that did not happen when Assyria surrounded Jerusalem. One night God delivered Jerusalem by killing one hundred eighty-five thousand Assyria soldiersn and the army had to withdraw. King Hezekiah sought the Lord for deliverance and the Lord saved the city from the Assyrians.

Now, 130 years later, Babylon will have the city surrounded but this time the king will not seek the Lord nor will he or the people remember what the Lord did. Instead, the people are saying we are going to die anyway so why not eat, drink, and be merry?  The king will try to escape but will be captured.

The purpose of prophesy is to tell us what God has planned for us. God’s desire is that we would live eternally with Him. Even if we die God promises that we will be resurrected from the dead. Our hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus. The Bible tells us that the penalty for sin is death. The Bible defines death as separation from God. Jesus committed no sin so there was no way that death could hold Him. The death He died was to pay for the penalty of our sin so that we would not be separated from God. We must acknowledge that we are sinners and that there is no way we can fix that. But we can receive the gift of forgiveness of sin that Jesus offers since He has paid the penalty for sin. We must believe that Jesus was who He said He was and that He died for our sins. We must also believe God raised Him from the dead and that one day we will be raised from the dead and be given a new body that will live forever.

Like being surrounded by Assyria or Babylon, without the hope of the resurrection, life has little meaning. That is why Paul said that if the dead are not raised we may as well eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die and it is all over.

Deep down inside we know we were meant to live forever. Deep down inside we know that life is meant to have meaning and purpose. It is no accident that starting in verse 16 we read of Shebna who was a scribe and was in charge of the royal household. He wanted to leave something behind to show the world that he was here. So he planned to make a tomb-like monument for himself. This is the best man can do. Leave some sort of sign or monument that says we were here. Shebna was replaced by Eliakim. Eliakim is a type of Christ. Christ will do what Eliakim and man cannot do. God will place on His Son everything we need to dwell eternally with God. All our sins were placed on Him and He was crucified and died. His body was placed in a tomb but the tomb could not hold Him. After three days He arose from death to life. It is in His resurrection that we have the hope of resurrection and in Him alone that life has meaning and purpose.

1 Corinthians 15 is considered the resurrection chapter of the Bible and is our homework for today. Also Isaiah 9:6-7 and John 5 are well worth reading.

Make sure your hope is in God’s gift of salvation and the resurrection. God has much more in store than eat, drink, and be merry. He has meaning and purpose and He values your life!

Pastor Dave