Going, Going, Going…
“He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord’s house.” Isaiah 22:18
The quarterback spins around a tackle. The opposition is closing in fast. He turns to his left, steps back and with great strength, throws the leather football sailing through the air. The commentators are talking quickly as the ball takes flight. The ball is going, going, going… into the next county? How about the next country? Of course for a man to throw the length of a football field would be incredible, but God tells us of something amazing in this passage in Isaiah.
Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer; Which sport do you really like? Is there a ball being thrown or tossed in the sport that you enjoy most? Hitting, kicking, or catching a ball can be terrific fun. Competition can bring out the best, or the worst in a person! How far can you throw a ball? Can you toss a ball all the way into another country? That would be quite a throw!
In Isaiah 22, we find the only verse in all of the Bible with the word “ball.” In this passage the Lord described how He will judge Jerusalem for their rebellion against Him. The Lord fulfilled this promise in 701 BC when Jerusalem was overthrown by Sennacharib, King of the ancient superpower, Assyria.
There was a government leader in Jerusalem named Shebna who the Lord promises He will toss into another country like a ball is tossed or thrown through the air. Shebna was a man who was friends with the Egyptian monarchy. He was looking to Pharaoh to help Judah escape the controlling power of foreign empires. Shebna was in charge of King Hezekiah’s Palace in Jerusalem. He helped oversee some of the large fortification projects Hezekiah was involved in. He was a man who even had a tomb built for himself in a similar way Kings and Pharaohs had fancy tombs built.
Shebna was one of the people God was also going to judge. Pride, rebellion to the Lord, and lust for power are all sins. This is how Shebna lived. Instead of trusting the Lord, Shebna trusted in man, personal intellect, top of the line chariots, and government treaties. May the Lord help us trust Him for every issue in our lives. Not long after this pronouncement, from Isaiah, Shebna was carried away by the Assyrian army. He died a captive in a foreign land. The Lord tosses Shebna into a whole other country because of his sin.
Are there areas in your life in which you are rebelling against the Lord? Have you identified sin that you need to get right with God? God does judge our sin. We find examples of this in the Bible time and time again. Because of His love He will do what it takes to get our attention. Because of His holiness, He wants us to live holy too. Don’t be like Shebna. Seek forgiveness and ask God to help you to live in a way that honors Him each day. We can “win” in the game of life over wrong and do right each day.
Going to a ball game this season? Every time you see a ball thrown, be reminded of Shebna and how the Lord fulfilled His promise of judgment. We can always take God at His Word.