What in the world is a “valley of vision?” It seems more than a little contradictory. You can have a vision of a valley if you are looking over it, but in a valley, vision is obscured by the mountains on both sides. This is a case of irony in chapter 22. Judah thinks she has vision – knows the future. But hers is a “valley of vision,” that is, no vision at all.
About 711 B.C., Sargon, king of Assyria, attacked Ashdod. Judah suffered too, but was not overcome. They were able to rebuild what they lost and re-fortify their defenses. They felt like they had dodged a bullet and there was great rejoicing – but Isaiah could find nothing worth rejoicing over. He had real vision. He knew what was coming, but Judah was blind to the impending doom.
Shebna, the palace administrator, in an inexplicable moment of hubris, built for himself a monumental tomb for his burial. His sense of self-importance mirrored Judah’s. But God said his position, like Judah’s security, would not last. He would lose his job to Eliakim, and Eliakim, given the responsibility of the nation, would likewise crack under the pressure.
No one, not Shebna, Eliakim, the King, neither military armaments nor defenses would save Judah. They looked to everyone and every thing for help, but not to the Lord. For that failing, there could be no deliverance. “The Lord has spoken.”
The lesson for us should be plain. There is nothing that can take the place of trusting God. Trust is the real sign and meaning of faith.