In the Year the King Died…

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’  And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.'” Isaiah 6:1-4

Uzziah had been monarch for over half a century, seeking God and leading Judah to follow Him, reigning with great success and military acumen, earning wide fame for his strength, prosperity, and order… until he became proud. The revered and beloved king grew pompous, and after his blatant elevation of self and unfaithfulness to God, he was stricken with leprosy and banished from the house of the Lord. A half-century reign is something few peoples can even imagine, and the spiritual slide of their king, along with the ensuing time of disappointment, unease, and uncertainty, was sure to have left all Judah shaken. It was then that Isaiah saw the LORD, highly exalted. Their leader might have puffed to the point of making himself like God, but God would bring him low and show Himself the true Holy One to His servant, Isaiah. (2 Chronicles 26)

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God reveals Himself as King of kings amidst the turmoil of life, and we, like Isaiah, can turn our eyes upward to His unshakeable throne and worship Him there. When a loved one or widely known respected leader falls; when all you have ever known is shaken, or gone away, look to the LORD. When hopes are dashed, or the unexpected call comes; when sin’s consequences are unyielding and irretrievable; when pain is so deep it takes your breath away, gaze at the LORD. When loss leaves emptiness, storms devastation, tragedies ruin, behold the LORD. When finances go south, or are depleted, when failure comes–again, when you meet rejection of efforts, desire, or love, look at the LORD. When all is confusing, disordered, doesn’t make sense; when a relationship is stuck, and no resolution or communication seems possible, look for the Lord. Do I believe He is high and lifted up above all these formidable trials, hurts, challenges, disappointments? Can my heart that is breaking and stretched unlike ever before cry with the seraphs, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”?

What a blessed, powerful reminder God gave Isaiah: He was the immutable Ruler, He alone holy. No human can ever fill that place, nor should he, and God’s glory and government overrides and covers all events we see with limited perspective on this earth.

“All great saints have a great God. He fills their universe. Therefore do they move about in a fruitful awe, and everywhere there is only a thin veil between them and His appearing. Everywhere they discern His holy presence.” ~ John Henry Jowett (1864-1923)

God of gods, may I ever contemplate Your good providence and holy ways, looking up above the transient to see You high and lifted up, glorious in splendor, holy, holy, holy.

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