The Peg Gives Way
Is. 22:20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, 21 and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23 I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 On that day, says the LORD of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the LORD has spoken.
The corruption among the leadership in Israel was notorious. One leader was losing their position and being replaced with another, Eliakim. It would appear at the outset that Eliakim was faithful in service to God but it was hard to shake the practices of old. In the homes of the day pegs were pounded into the walls from which were hung the family crest and items of significance. The prophet noted that while Eliakim would begin well, eventually all the baggage of his family would be hung upon him. This included a history of corruption and deceit which was demonstrated in the every day activities of his family, which are represented by the ordinary vessels. Because he allowed the corruption to continue and he because he doesn’t “clean house” the weight on the peg becomes too great. Eliakim cannot compensate for what he allows to fester within his family, and kingdom. Eventually the weight of the sins of the family are too great and the peg gives way. Sadly, they will all perish because corruption had filled the house.
The consequences of sin are far-reaching. There was a certain expectation that the King would clean house when he became the ruler. He may have been a good man, but if he didn’t take care of the issues that were occurring within his own household, it would result in the downfall of all.
This is true for our own spiritual houses. We may be seeking God and be good people, but if we refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to clean house, secret pockets of sin will remain. The entire house just may collapse and sadly, it may not just be our own spiritual house, but that of our entire family. As Christian parents we have a responsibility to submit to the Holy Spirit and God’s leading, living lives that are examples of holiness and purity before our children. If we don’t, we may be responsible for their spiritual suffering later in life, for what we do, will influence them spiritually. We may become the weight that pulls their peg from the wall.
We may also find this in the life of a spiritual community. If there is sin within the church family, let’s be assured that it will become a weight to the community of faith. With a diminished emphasis on discipleship within the church there seems to be less accountability. Instead of encouraging one another in our spiritual growth and development we have become more and more tolerant of behaviors that may not be pleasing in the sight of God. We need to ask whether these are becoming weights on the peg and how long, until the peg gives way.
Finally we find corruption in society and government. How long can the strain continue on the peg?
God allows people to assume positions of responsibility but with that comes the requirement to lead in holiness. Allowing sin to remain in the camp is destructive to all. The family must be called to repentance for all to be saved. This is the challenge of the leader who hopes to keep his/her peg secure.
Lord, thank you for the stories of those who have gone before and who can teach us what not to do. Amen.