King Hezekiah’s footsteps echoed down the long marbled corridor.
“Where is Shebna? I have an important matter for him to attend to,” the King inquired of a palace servant.
“Sire, I believe he just left in one of his many chariots. There was a problem with some aspect of the workmanship on the tomb he is constructing for his own posterity.”
King Hezekiah muttered under his breath, “How can he think of himself at a time like this? Assyria is on Jerusalem’s doorstep at this very moment.”
Shebna liked to wield political power,
Built his mausoleum like a tower;
Status and fame were his role,
Self-sufficiency his ultimate goal;
This pride was the reason for his fall,
Thought of the people, not at all;
It came at quite a cost,
All his worldly possessions were lost.
Eliakim wondered why the king wanted to see him. Had he had overlooked some detail of his job as cabinet minister?
The large brass knocker clanked against the large wooden door.
“Come in, Eliakim,” replied King Hezekiah.
“The word of the Lord has come to me through the prophet, Isaiah. The Lord God has chosen you to replace Shebna as the Prime Minister; He has found Shebna to be unworthy in his current position and has demoted him within my cabinet.”
King Hezekiah called two of the palace guard to place Shebna’s long flowing linen robe over his head and tie Shebna’s sash around Eliakim’s waist. Thus, signaling the transfer of power into Eliakim’s hand.
Then the large, brass, master key to “the house of David” or “royal palace” was fastened to the shoulder of his tunic. As the new Keeper of the Keys, he would decide who could enter and who could leave the city. He would now be responsible for executing the will of the king. It was not a responsibility he would take lightly.
In the royal palace stood,
Heavy doorways made of wood;
As the Holder of the Keys,
He could open them as he pleased;
But he chose to follow God’s will,
Not his own desires to fulfill;
As a servant of the Lord,
One day would reap great reward.
**Based on Isaiah 22
** Even though Eliakim was faithful, the people of Judah were not. After 115 years God lost patience with them, and sent them into captivity in Babylon.
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