Saturday, September 12, 2009

God Speaks When Kings Die

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord!” (Isaiah 6:1)

Young minds are always highly impressionable, especially by men or women of great charismatic influence. Certainly Isaiah had to be effected by the fame and flair of King Uzziah, a man anointed and used by God in many significant ways.

Perhaps Uzziah’s swashbuckling approach to life would be all the natural inspiration a young man like Isaiah would need to move him to dare great things for himself. We can only surmise these things from the little evidence we have to work with.

We know that Isaiah prophesied before the death of King Uzziah, and a careful reading of his sobering denouncements shows the fiery passion of untempered youth. No less than eight times in the first five chapters of Isaiah’s writing we find the phrase, “Woe unto you!”

In his opening volley he likens Judah and Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah. He likens the nation to a diseased body, stricken with wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores throughout. And he blasts the people as being dumber than an ox, and more stubborn than a jackass.

Yep, I’ve known some young preachers who were like that. In fact, I was one of them!

In Isaiah's case, a defining moment occurs at the death of King Uzziah. Something so rocked Isaiah’s world that he entered the temple to seek God in silence and humility. It was then that he received his legendary vision.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord!” he tells us. “He was high and lifted up, and His robes filled the Temple.” Though an earthly king has passed from the temporal throne of his empire, the Lord reigns as King upon the throne of Heaven -- forever!

And suddenly a shift happens in Isaiah’s heart. Listen to his own words – “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isa 6:5).

It was this singular act of brokenness and true humility that opened the door for his anointing, making Isaiah one of the greatest prophetic voices ever.

Among his “all-time hits” we find these headliners: the Virgin Birth (ch.7:14), The Savior’s Character (ch.9:6), The Ministry of Jesus (ch.61:1-3), The Crucifixion (ch.52:13-53:12), The Redemption of the Gentiles (ch.60:1-3), The Second Coming of Christ (ch.63:1-5, and 64:1-5), and The New Heavens and Earth (ch.66:22).

The point is simple -- if your world seems to be caving in around you find that place where you can meet with God, seeing Him as the King who is on the Throne. Hear Him speak, and then receive the power to do whatever it is that He calls you to do.

And who knows -- maybe history will reverberate once again with the ways that He uses you!

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