Eliakim son of Hilkiah was a good man. He was a trustworthy leader. We read of him in Isaiah 22:20-25. Here are some observations concerning the qualities of this man:-
- He was a servant of the Lord. In v 20 The LORD calls him “my servant”. In Isaiah that term has intimations of the Messiah. This gives hints of the admirable qualities of the man.
- In v21 we see how the LORD hands over authority to him.
- He is a father to those in Jerusalem. Intimations are here given of him being a caring leader.
- He is given decision-making responsibility (see v22). This indicates how the Lord can trust him.
- He is termed a peg in v23 which indicates he is someone the people can depend upon. The image is that of hanging their lives upon him.
Thus we see that Eliakim was a good and a fine leader. However, when we come to the final statement concerning him being a peg we start to move towards issues of people starting to depend upon him too much. As we move through the latter part of v23 into v24 we start to get a sense of more and more being hung upon him:-
- First there he is as a seat of honour for his father’s family.
- Then his own family hang all their glory on him.
- Finally offspring and off shoots and further paraphernalia are placed upon him.
And we are left wondering can a man bear all this? Or even should a man bear all this? Alas our fears are confirmed in v25 when the peg sheared off and all those hanging on the peg are cut off. All because too much was hung on the peg.
Let us ponder upon some lessons here:-
- Men can allow themselves to become depended upon by others. Rather than continually pointing to Christ as the burden bearer they allow burdens to be placed on them.
- People can place their burdens on other people and not the Lord.
- Good men are only men at best, no matter how good they are.
- In a community of people, leaders need the right attitude to the people and people need the right attitude to the leaders. Leaders are to be respected, but not deified.
- There is One leader who will never break off. There is One Peg who will bear every burden regardless of the size. He is Messiah, He is Jesus. Oh how we need to depend upon Him!