Joseph A. Bias
The Valley of Vision - Part 3
“The burden against the Valley of Vision. What ails you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops, you who are full of noise, a tumultuous city, a joyous city? Your slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle.” Isaiah 22:1-2
“For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the Valley of Vision—Breaking down the walls and of crying to the mountain.” Isaiah 22:5
The prophet draws attention to the fallen state of the nation by asking the questions. Why is there no noise of people in this bustling city? Why is there no commerce going on, no normal activity of a thriving metropolis? Why is everyone gone home? Why are the shops closed and the people cowering in fear behind their locked doors. Why are there lookouts on the rooftops? Because, they fear they are about to be invaded, and everyone is afraid because of their sins against God. They fear their enemy and they fear the judgment of God.
They were being slain, but not by the sword. Their provisions had been cut off, the poor were dying in the streets for lack of food, and the walls of the city had been breached. The leaders of Judah had left their cities and fled to Jerusalem, leaving their cities to be overrun by the Assyrian armies. But even in Jerusalem they were cowards. They cannot raise their bows. They are of no use in the defense of the city. Their cowardice is evident, because they have no faith based on trust in God’s Word. They are adrift in the limit of their own devices because they would no humble themselves and seek God’s mercy and forgiveness, which He would surely have granted them if they would have only cried out to Him.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
But, instead, in their pride, arrogance and foolishness, they looked to themselves for their salvation.
”And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall. Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.” Isaiah 22:10-11
Finally, the prophecy against Shebna seals the fate of those who think themselves secure in their wealth and riches that they build monuments to themselves. Not just as luxurious places to dwell in, but to leave a lasting memorial to their “greatness” for generations to come. But all of it shall be torn down and left desolate and they will reap no eternal benefit for all their wasted effort. There will be a reward for them, but not what they think. The wages of sin is death and all they have amassed in life will be left to distribute among the very ones they defrauded, swindled, deceived, extorted and pillaged to get it.
The burden against the Valley of Vision is a sobering wakeup call to those in every generation who refuse to walk in the ways of the Lord, who, though called by His name and who claim salvation in Jesus Christ, still live as though God is just a peripheral thought in their more important lives of striving for comfort and ease, for wealth and unrighteous mammon, for all the pleasures of sin without regard for its wages. The judgment of God against all sin will not escape them. They will suffer the same fate as those who deny the grace of God and mock His mercy, professing themselves to be wise, yet becoming fools.
In this present generation we are surrounded by those especially among the political and elite academic and media classes who have “said in their hears there is no God.” [Psalm 53:1] so they are free to lie without constraint, to deceive, to justify themselves in their iniquity, to trample the laws of God under their feet, to boldly corrupt their offices of trust for the sake of controlling the people, defrauding them, not defending them, making alliances with those who would destroy our nation while they pad their pockets through bribery and extortion. Their lies will be found out and their wickedness will be exposed and judged quickly, if they do not repent of their ways and call on the Lord for forgiveness.
Is this a call of warning to the church today? Are we under the risk of falling under the same judgment of God? Did not Jesus pay for our sins past, present and future? Yes He did, most assuredly, but we are not given a carte blanche pass to just ignore God’s will, His Word and His warnings.
He has given us boundaries for our benefit, but it is still left to us to make our choices. Each day we are free to choose life or death, blessing or cursing. And we have not been left alone to make the right choice. The Holy Spirit is present in us to assist us in the process. He will and He does help us if we are willing to yield to Him. Our ultimate destination of life, and the Scriptures speaks expressly to tell us this, rests solely with us.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
When we choose life we choose Jesus, His will, His Word and His promises of blessing and life more abundantly. God will not invade nor override our will. He will provide a way of escape from temptation and He will abundantly pardon all those who come to Him with a broken and contrite heart. Jesus’ life was not given to be used as a punishment against us. It was given in love to rescue all mankind from their sin and to purchase for us eternal life in Heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
These things we know. Now it is our calling from God our Father to bring this message of the Gospel to all nations. And by the grace of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit this we will do, ‘til all have heard.