In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne… Isaiah 6:1
As an American living in the UK, I’ve often harbored mixed feelings about the British royalty – after all, the colonists in the New World fought a war to be free of King George III. But living here for sixteen years, I’ve grown in respect and admiration for Queen Elizabeth II. She has exhibited seemingly tireless grace and diplomacy for over sixty years, which we rightly celebrated during her Jubilee in 2012.
King Uzziah was another faithful ruler, who wielded more power in his day than British royalty do today. But at the end of his life his pride ruined him. He decided that he wanted to involve himself in matters at the temple and burned incense at the altar (which was the job of the priests). The Lord struck him with leprosy and he died. This was the year Isaiah received his commission as a prophet, which we will be reading about in this seven-week series.
In contrast to the human king, Isaiah glimpses the true King who is seated on his throne of judgement. The people of Israel had been swayed by powerful King Uzziah and had, little by little, began to trust in him more than God. And so the Lord commissions a man – Isaiah – to bring his dual message of judgement and mercy to his people.
Whatever your view of royalty, today consider the mighty King of all Kings who never slumbers nor sleeps.
Prayer: King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we pay you homage. Reign in our lives today. Amen.