When you read Isaiah 6, it is easy to overlook something significant as the chapter first starts. It begins with, “in the year that King Uzziah died.” Uzziah’s passing was huge for Isaiah and the people of Judah.
Uzziah was made king of Judah at the age of 16. He served in that position for 52 years, which made him the 2nd longest to serve as king of Judah. During his reign, Judah’s economy flourished because of many advances King Uzziah made. After over 100 years of decay, he rebuilt and opened up the port of Eloth, a critical seaport, thus restoring trade with the east. He modernized their cisterns and built towers throughout Judah. These improvements helped water their farms and animals and kept Judah safe from enemy attacks. During Uzziah’s rule, he defeated several long-standing enemies, thus earning him a reputation throughout the territory.
Now when you read, “in the year that King Uzziah died,” you understand that what Judah had depended on for half a century was gone. What would happen to them?
Maybe as you are reading this today, you are asking the same question. What will happen now that your job is gone? Or your health is failing? Your marriage is lost? Does God have a word for you when calamity strikes?
Today, I want to encourage you not to forget to read the second part of verse one, because Isaiah’s answer is also our answer today. (In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne.) Uzziah’s throne was empty, but God was still on His. Uzziah’s reign had ended, but God’s goes on forever. Uzziah’s voice was silent, but God’s was strong (Isa. 6:8–10). Many times, God chooses not to remove us from our problem but to reveal Himself in our problem. In our issues of life, we need to see God again. A fresh and new glimpse of His power and His presence. Sometimes we can see that in a song, and other times, through a word that someone speaks to us; but most of the time, it will be through His Word, the love letter that He has written to us.
I heard the story of a young boy who twisted his ankle. He had his first school dance coming up in two weeks. He was lying on the ground in pain when his father knelt beside him and looked at the injured ankle. He told his son he would be OK, but his son said no, he would not. His father put some ice on the sprain and again told him he would be alright. The father said that in a couple of days, keeping the weight off the ankle, it would be fine. The young boy said, “You don’t know. I’ll never be able to walk again!”
His father asked him if he knew what he did for a living? You see, his father was the world’s foremost orthopedic surgeon. People came from everywhere to get treatment. But his son really did not know what his father did. He knew he worked at the hospital, and people called him doctor, but did not know precisely what he did.
The next day the father took his son to work with him. As his son came into his dad’s office, he noticed all the diplomas on the wall. Next to them were many awards that bore his father’s name. As the son admired all of this, the father handed him a book on orthopedic surgery. It also bore his name. Before the son could say anything, the father’s pager went off; someone needed surgery. So, he took the son into the operating room where he reconstructed someone’s ankle. While he was watching, one of the nurses assisting the father leaned down and said, “your father is the best.”
At the end of the day, as they were going home, he looked at his father. He saw him differently than he did. If he can reconstruct an ankle, he can indeed treat a swollen ankle. So, he asked his dad, “do you think my ankle will be OK for the dance.” His father told him, “yes, you will be fine.”
This time he believed his father. What changed? His father said the same thing yesterday, but he did not believe him. What changed is that the son’s understanding of his father increased. The more we understand our heavenly Father, the more our anxiousness, fear, and anxiety will decrease.
The truth is that whatever you are going through, it is just a sprained ankle to God. For He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He holds the whole world in His hand and you, my friend, are the apple of His eye.
Isaiah 6:1(NKJV) In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.