segunda-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2016

In the year that king Uzziah died ...

"In the year of king Uzziah's death, I saw Jehovah sitting upon a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his garments filled the temple." Isaiah 6: 1

Who was Uzziah? A king who had taken the throne at the age of sixteen, remaining in power until his sixtieth birthday.

"Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah." 2nd Chronicles 26: 1

Uzziah did that which was right in the sight of God, so that he prospered greatly, he was marvelously blessed, and his fame went very far. This king was the hope of the nation, which was more concrete in national security. His death must have generated great commotion.

At the end of his days Uzziah lived a recluse and a leper because, like King Saul, in an attempt to usurp the prerogatives of the priests, he had entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense at the altar. This act externalized the king's pride and exaltation, vanity, and utter lack of reverence for the Lord.

And Isaiah lived in the time of king Uzziah, and beheld all the glory of his reign, and also his decline and death. At a time when Uzziah's successor expectation was the most urgent agenda, the prophet has the glorious vision of another King. Note that the chapter begins by saying that "King Uzziah died and Isaiah saw the Lord ..." and Further on it reads:

"My eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Isaiah 6: 5.

The vision was luminous, heavenly, and I do not dwell on it, but here I express what I learned from this passage from the book of Isaiah: the contrast between the glory of men and the glory of God.

Not even the most "powerful" and worthy king in Israel was able to give Isaiah - and the other men of the nation - such a clear vision of the glory of the heavens that Isaiah saw in a moment of devotion.

The fame and power of the earthly king depended on Divine grace. God exalts and slaughters and so sovereignly He remains God to whom all owe recognition and dependence. In His mercy and goodness, this God reveals Himself in times of hopelessness, commotion and death, even. This God speaks of what men are incapable of speaking and comforts in a very particular way.

We have a dying king and a prophet being raised to glory, to the highest place:

"Then I said," Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of armies. "Then one of the seraphim flew to me , Bringing in his hand a live coal that he had taken from the altar with a tenacious "Isaiah 6: 5.

The glory of the prophet consists in his humiliation, in the awareness of the sinner's condition. The fall of Uzziah consisted in his exaltation as a saint.

After the vision, Isaiah exercised his ministry and walked naked and barefoot for three years. That is, he stripped off his prophet's robes, took off his robes and his sandals. (Isaiah 20: 3). Because he knew that the glory was not his, his life and his ways were kept in God, Lord of glory!

The death of King Uzziah and the vision of Isaiah is to me a representation that no earthly power, government or leadership is capable of conferring peace and security, is capable of revealing God.

Of course, God is interested in earthly affairs by established, elected governments, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" (Psalm 33:12). However, this landlord of God begins in the heart of every man who, like Isaiah, raised his eyes and his heart to seek God at a time when many around him were bowed and disillusioned in the nation.

God bless you ...