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The Unforgiveable Sin

Scripture: Isaiah 22

I. Your sin of self-sufficiency is seen in trusting yourself rather than God.

A. Isaiah’s prophecy of judgment in Isa. 22 begins with a moment of joy for Jerusalem (vs. 1-2). Jerusalem was scared by the military successes of Assyria within the country of Judah. 2 Kings 18:13: “In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.” Jerusalem’s joy came after a deliverance from the Assyrians.

B. But Isaiah had no joy. Isaiah 22:4: “Look away from me; let me weep bitter tears.” Isaiah could see that another nation would come for Jerusalem in years to come: the Babylonians. The Babylonians were allied with the people of Elam mentioned in vs. 6. And when the Babylonians came, we read what judgment would happen to Jerusalem in vs. 3. The city had no faith in God. They did not trust in God to protect them. They trusted in themselves and their resources.

II. Your sin of self-sufficiency is seen in your desire for recognition.

A. In vs. 15-19 we see an individual example of self-sufficiency in a government official named Shebna. Shebna was over King Hezekiah’s household, he was what we might call a prime minister to the king. But in God’s mind, Shebna was just a little, tiny nothing of a steward (vs. 15). He was building this great tomb for himself so that he might be recognized and honored after his death (vs. 16).

B. Here was a politician who was all about the greatness of me. He loved to ride around Jerusalem in his glorious chariots (vs. 18). And one of Shebna’s great ideas that he shared with Judah’s other leaders was to make an alliance with the useless Egyptians to protect Jerusalem against Assyria (Isa. 30 & 31). God promised judgment on Shebna. God would throw him away like a ball (vs. 18). Shebna would be demoted from his office (vs. 19) in disgrace.

III. Your sin of self-sufficiency is seen in your trust of mere humans.

A. Shebna was going to be replaced by Eliakim (vs. 20-21). Unlike Shebna, Eliakim would be a good leader. He would be given authority and use that authority well (vs. 21). God would call Eliakim “my servant” (vs. 20). He would be faithful in His service to God. Eventually, Eliakim would either die or retire (vs. 25). No human being is sufficient to put the full weight of your trust in him. When you sin, confess it to God. 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Don’t trust yourself for your salvation. Trust Jesus. He is the Savior you need.  

The book of Isaiah
Commentaries by J.A. Motyer, Derek Thomas, Tim Chester, David Jackman, Bob Fyall.

Sermon Discussion Questions

1) Why is it surprising that Jerusalem was called the valley of vision? How does Isaiah’s sorrow and Jerusalem’s joy reveal the city’s lack of vision over what God was doing?

2) What accusations are brought against Jerusalem in vs. 8-11? How do these verses reveal what Jerusalem trusted in rather than God?

3) What is the unforgivable sin of vs. 14? How is Shebna an example of such sin? Why was even a good leader like Eliakim inadequate to put your trust in?