sermonette: The "Open Door" of Philadelphia
The Lesson of Shebna and Eliakim
David C. Grabbe
Given 01-Mar-14; Sermon #1200s; 19 minutes
Many have misunderstood the 'open door' reference in the letter to Philadelphia. It refers to Isaiah 22:15-25, which describes Shebna's expulsion from his role as steward because of his blatant, self-important presumptuousness. Shebna was replaced by Eliakim who was a man of humility and lowliness of mind. Some of the self-exalting behaviors of those claiming to have the Key of David and an open door resemble more the self-focused attitude of Shebna rather than the humble attitude of Eliakim. The gracious promises given to the Philadelphians are given to those who absolutely know they have little strength and desperately need the continual aid of God's Holy Spirit to go through the open door of prayer to God's Throne Room. If we arrogantly compare ourselves among each other, boasting of our magazines, radio stations, and new members, we are no better than the pompous, self-important Shebna.