Summary: A look at Isaiah worshiping God
Lifechanging Power of Worship: Isaiah 6
If you have your bibles, join me in turning to Isaiah 6. This is about a little over halfway into the Bible. Open your bible in the middle, and you come to Psalms. Go a little further and you come to Isaiah. We have been going through the OT together, and looking at various highpoints. The last two weeks we looked at Amos, the man and his message. This is about 800 years before the crucifixion. The nation of Israel has been split into a northern kingdom called Israel and a southern kingdom called Judah. A little before Amos’ time the king in Judah was named Amaziah. He was a proud king, and had fought some successful battles with the Edomites, who lived to the East. He brought back their idols, and bowed down to them and offered sacrifice to them. As a result, God brought judgment upon Amaziah. Jehoash, king of Israel, invaded from the north, destroyed the wall of Jerusalem, sacked the city, and carried off all the precious silver and gold ornaments. This weak king is killed by his own men, and his son Azariah is placed on the throne. Azariah, also called Uzziah, is a good king who attempts, although somewhat halfheartedly, to follow God. And as a result, he has a long reign. He comes to power about the time that Homer is writing the Illiad & Odyssey in Greece and Romulus, the founder of Rome is being born. He becomes king at 16 and rules for 52 years. That would be the length of the terms of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and into the term of George W. Bush.
Think of the security that this one king has brought to the nation of Judah. Where previously the wall was destroyed, the city was unsafe, now with Uzziah as king, the nation is secure. There was great spiritual prosperity. Uzziah was one of the great kings of Judah that restored the glory and power of David. It tells us "He did right in the sight of the Lord" (II Chron. 26:4). He had great military prosperity. "Warred against the Philistines . . . God helped him against the Philistines" (II Chron. 26:6,7). "Built towers in Jerusalem . . . built towers in the desert" (v.9). Had 307,500 soldiers. There was abundant food. "He dug many wells . . . much cattle . . . he loved husbandry" (v.10). He instituted great technology. "Invented . . . bulwarks to shoot arrows, and great stones" (v.15).
But Uzziah sinned, and in his great power and success became proud. He went into the temple to offer sacrifice, which was only for the priests to do, and 80 priests withstood him. God struck his with leprosy, and he spent his last years ruling as a leper, a constant reminder to all the people of God’s great power.
Uzziah was a man whose very presence inspired confidence. Think in WWII of Winston Churchill. No matter how afraid the British people were, London faces Nazi bombings, but Churchill comes out on the streets, and gives his powerful, stirring speeches that allay all the fears of the people.
Think back to the days following 9/11. Our nation is in a panic, flights are grounded, where will the terrorists strike next. But in the midst of all the confusion and turmoil, one voice speaks with confidence and determination: Rudy Guliani, the mayor of New York. And when he speaks, the people have hope once again. So much so, that he is often called “America’s mayor.” This is the type of inspiring leader that Uzziah is.
But in 739 BC, Uzziah dies. And when he does, the Jews wonder where they will find their security. Where do you turn when your hope is gone; when the rug is pulled out from under you; when all the things you placed your security in are gone; the stockmarket crashes, you job is outsourced, your family leaves you. We realize that we as a people long for stability and security, but this world never offers it. Rather, our stability is found in the one of whom it is said, “There is no-one holy like the LORD; there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” or these words from Psalm 18 With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.