Archive for May 15th, 2017

(This passage is also referenced in 2 Kings 14:17-22; 15:1-4)

 

In Isaiah 6 we read: “In the year King Uzziah died (around the mid eighth century BC), I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted.” There is no casual connection between the death of Uzziah and Isaiah’s great insight and vision of the glory and the majesty of Almighty God. Instead it marks a watershed in the history of the Southern kingdom of Judah.  Our loving, merciful God never judges without giving warning first.  This moment represents a last-ditch warning to the nation, because after this moment, there might be no turning back.

The Lord sends his prophets and their message, and as with Isaiah, the message is always based on a vision of the greatness and glory of God and the desperate departure from their calling on the part of his people in sad and heart-breaking contrast.

King Uzziah started so well.  On the whole he had enjoyed a good example in kingship from his father Amaziah, but after his death, ascended the throne at the tender age of sixteen.  Mentored by a man called Zechariah, who may have been a priest, the key note of his reign before God and man was humility.  Therefore, he was blessed with longevity and a 52 year-long reign. His achievements were great.  He brought economic and military prosperity to the land.  A new and successful weapon, which sounds amazingly like the medieval ballista, was invented during his tenure.  Affluence and security were the order of the day.

Sadly, these blessings led to complacency and pride, as they so often do.  The delusion that began to foment in Uzziah’s mind was that maybe he was somebody special, particularly godly perhaps.  The growth of pride can be very subtle. He lost all sense of what Isaiah saw in his vision:  that before such a holy God, fallen man is completely undone, as Isaiah felt so acutely.

We know this was happening in Uzziah’s mind because the diseasing of his mind, a syndrome the book of Romans speaks of, manifested outwardly in carrying out burning incense on the altar of incense, a completely forbidden act on the part of a profane king.  Only priests anointed for the work could dare to do such a thing. Uzziah is struck with leprosy which eventually kills him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pray for humility for yourself, the Church and the prosperous West.

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