"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.'
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.' Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.' Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?'
And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"
This was the Scripture of reference for the sermon today at church. Let me tell you, it spoke volumes to me. I had read this particular passage before and I had taken some of the same lessons from it, but today it really hit me. The first sentence alone even now ways heavy on my heart and mind. "In the year that King Uzziah died...". King Uzziah...who was this guy? What did he do that Isaiah felt so impressed enough to start off one of the most well-known passages of Scripture with? To go even further, what's so important about his death that led (or leads) to seeing the Lord high and lifted up? King Uzziah's reign is covered in II Chronicles 26. His reign starts off good. He was 16 years old when his kingship started and it says that "he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (v. 4)." However, verse 16 begins his downfall. After he became so powerful, he became very prideful. He thought that the worship should be centered around him. He entered into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of the Lord, which was something only the priests who were consecrated could do. As a result of his unfaithfulness and pride, the Lord struck him with leprosy until the day he died. Again, his death led Isaiah to see our exalted King and a glimpse of the seraphs praising His name for eternity.
IF we are to see the glory of the Lord, there are things in our lives that need to die. For most, if not all, the number one thing that needs to die is pride. Get our eyes off of ourselves and look UPWARD! We need to stop focusing on our lot in life; we need to stop focusing on our circumstances and realize and study and KNOW that our God is Holy, Holy, Holy; Good, Good, Good, and Faithful, Faithful, Faithful! I'll admit, this is not an easy thing. It's hard not to fall victim to our current situation(s) in life and become discouraged and, I'll say it, angry. Why is this happening? Why is that person being blessed and I'm not? Why did that person get the position I'm more qualified for? Whatever the gripe may be in our hearts and minds, we need to turn our eyes upward to Him! Has He been faithful in the past? Has He forsaken you? Will He forsake you? You know the answers to these questions. But as soon as things start to go against us, we forget the answers and lose heart. We soon find ourselves deep in depression, alone and frustrated. Though the grass withers and the flowers fall, the Word of the Lord stands forever! And what does the Word say? It says that He is faithful to the end and apart from Him, there is no good thing! You can read all through Scripture and find the reward for those who stand firm, who do not lose heart despite what actually may be going on in their lives.
There may be other areas in your life, besides pride, that have captured your eyes. Job? Death? Sickness? Relationships? Whatever it may be, a question needs to be raised: Are you willing to put it to death? Are you willing to say, "Ok God, right now it ain't workin. I'm done trying on my own. I surrender to You and Your will and destiny for me"? I get a picture of these things/areas becoming a wall between you and God. Isaiah 59:2 has worked me over lately. It says, "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." The sin of pride or idolatry in your life is keeping God from hearing you, from His face shining on you! Do you want that?! I sure don't!
So it boils down to trust. Just look at Abraham and Jesus! Come on, now! Can I get an amen? Can you imagine the anguish Abraham felt as he was walking up the mountain moments before having to kill his son? And I think you know the anguish Jesus went through...He sweated blood! Do you trust Him? If so, take your eyes off of yourself and look upward! You will see the Lord high and lifted up! You will see the glory of the Lord!
I'll finish with Psalm 13, one of the greatest psalms of lament. But at the end it says this: "But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."
Grace and peace.