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Shebna’s Grave

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2024 8:00 pm

Shebna’s Grave

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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June 10, 2024 8:00 pm

Irish poet W. B. Yeats wanted to be buried “Under Ben Bulben,” a stately mountain after which he titled one of his last poems. The poem’s final line is etched onto his gravestone: Cast a cold eye/ On life, on death./ Horseman, pass by!

Much speculation has taken place over what this means. Perhaps it’s the poet’s acknowledgment of the reality of both life and death. Regardless, Yeats got his wish about where he was buried and what his gravestone would say. But the cold truth is that life goes on without us, indifferent to our departure.

During a dire time in Judah’s history, Shebna, a “palace administrator,” made a tomb for himself to insure his legacy after death. But God, through His prophet Isaiah, told Shebna, “Who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock?” (Isaiah 22:16). The prophet told him, “[God] will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die” (v. 18).

Shebna had missed the point. What matters isn’t where we’re buried; what matters in life is who we serve. Those who serve Jesus have this immeasurable comfort: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord” (Revelation 14:13). We serve a God who’s never indifferent to our “departure.” He anticipates our arrival and welcomes us home.

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Thanks for joining me for today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading, titled Shebna's Grave, was written by Tim Gustafson. Irish poet W. B. Yeats wanted to be buried under Ben Bulbin, a stately flat-topped mountain after which he titled one of his last poems. The poem's final line is etched onto his gravestone, cast a cold eye on life, on death, horsemen pass by.

Much speculation has taken place over what this means. Perhaps it's the poet's acknowledgement of the reality of both life and death. Regardless, Yeats got his wish about where he was buried and what his gravestone would say.

But the cold truth is that life goes on without us, indifferent to our departure. During a dire time in Judah's history, Shebna, a palace administrator, made a tomb for himself to ensure his legacy after death. But God, through his prophet Isaiah, told him in Isaiah chapter 22, Who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock? The prophet told him, God will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country. There you will die.

Shebna had missed the point. What matters isn't where we're buried. What matters is who we serve. Those who serve Jesus have this immeasurable comfort. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, says Revelation 14-13. We serve a God who's never indifferent to our departure. He anticipates our arrival and welcomes us home.

The scripture reading for today from Our Daily Bread is Isaiah chapter 22 verses 15-24. This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says, Go say to this steward, to Shebna the palace administrator, What are you doing here? And who gave you permission to cut out a grave for yourself here, hewing your grave on the height and chiseling your resting place in the rock? Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you and hurl you away, you mighty man. He will roll you up tightly like a ball and throw you into a large country.

There you will die. And there the chariots you were so proud of will become a disgrace to your master's house. I will depose you from your office, and you will be ousted from your position. In that day, I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David.

What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I will drive him like a peg into a firm place. He will become a seat of honor for the house of his father. All the glory of his family will hang on him.

Its offspring and offshoots, all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars. Would you pray with me? Father in heaven, please help us to keep life and death in perspective. Making the most of our time here to share your love and forgiveness with all of those around us, while also living with anticipation for the time we'll be in eternity with you. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for joining me. I'm Stephen Taber, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-10 21:45:32 / 2024-06-10 21:47:20 / 2

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