Summary: What does god want us to know in times of loss?
We read in this passage how Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord and heard the voice of the Lord. The circumstances surrounding this experience was the death of Isaiah’s king and friend, Uzziah. We learn about king Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26.
Uzziah was a good king, until he allowed pride to make him arrogantly violate God’s law by assuming a privilege reserved only for a priest by offering incense on the altar in the Lord’s temple. He was struck down with leprosy and ended his days living a1one, ruling through his son, Jotham (2 Chronicles 26:16-23).
Isaiah apparently went to the temple to mourn the loss of the king. A loss, which in Isaiah’s mind, represented:
A. Loss of leadership - 2 Chronicles 26:1-5
B. Loss of prosperity - 2 Chronicles 26:6-10
C. Loss of stability - 2 Chronicles 26:11-15
It was at such a time, a time of loss, that God’s voice called to Isaiah. God’s voice also calls to us in times of loss. At such times of change and transition, God’s voice calls to us to remind us that . . .
1. He Is Still Upon His Throne - vs. 1-4
Isaiah’s experience teaches us that as we go through loss, we need to focus on the One who is in charge of all things and is still upon His throne! How do I remind myself that God is still on His throne?
A. Choose to be aware of His presence - v. 1
“Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.” - Genesis 28:16 (Amplified)
There is not a place where God is not present - even the place of loss.
B. Choose to adore His person - vs. 2-3
“The whole purpose of coming before the King is to praise Him to live in recognition of His splendor. Praise - lifting up our heart and hands, exulting with our voices, singing His praises - is the highest occupation of any being. What happens when we praise the Father? We reestablish the proper chain of command; we recognize that the King is on the throne.” - Max Lucado, Walking With the Savior
C. Choose to be in awe of His power - v.4
As his attention was drawn to the One upon the throne, Isaiah found himself in awe of His power! Likewise, we will never be in a position to know much of the power of God, until we purposely seek to be aware of His presence and adore His person!
“Praise is insisting on the truth.” - T.W. Hunt
As we “insist on the truth” about God through the practice of praise and thanksgiving, we will be helped to see the truth, even as did Isaiah, that no matter what change might take place around me, there has been no change in the God who reigns above me and lives within me!
2. He Is Still At Work In Me - vs. 5-7
Whenever we face difficult times, we tend to wonder where God is and if He has forsaken us. But the fact is that He is seeking to work in our lives just as much in times of loss as he is in good times. And what is it that God is working in our lives to do? God is seeking to do in our lives what he did in Isaiah’s life on this occasion. God works to . . .
A. To show me more of myself - v. 5a
B. To show me more of Himself - v. 5b
And as God worked in Isaiah’s life, he was led to . . .
1) Conviction - v. 5a
Isaiah recognized that apart from the Lord, his situation was hopeless!
2) Confession - v. 5b
Isaiah confessed his lack of faith and how he had joined in with others in decrying their situation now that the king had died.
3) Cleansing - v. 6-7
As a result of his confession, Isaiah received cleansing. God is always at work to lead us to a humble dependence upon Him; but this is especially true in times of 1oss. So the question I should ask is not, “Is God at still at work in my life?,” but rather, “Am I willing to let God work in my life?” God’s desire is to make us better, not bitter!
Lohman Strauss in his book, In God’s Waiting Room: Learning Through Suffering, a book he wrote while his wife recovered from a stroke, likens life’s experiences to ingredients that went into the cakes he remembers his mother baking during his childhood.
Each ingredient, the flour, baking powder, shortening, the raw eggs, by themselves aren’t very enjoyable snacks. When properly mixed together though, they created something delicious.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” - Romans 8:28 (NLT)