“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem... He did what was right in the Lord’s sight... During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (2 Chronicles 26:3–5). For more than half-a-century, the Southern Kingdom flourished under the reign of Uzziah.
He is remembered for his strong military “of 307,500 equipped for combat, a powerful force to help the king against the enemy. Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows, and slingstones” (2 Chronicles 26:13–14). During his days as king, Jerusalem was outfitted with strong defenses. “Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and the corner buttress, and he fortified them” (2 Chronicles 26:9). “He made skillfully designed devices in Jerusalem to shoot arrows and catapult large stones for use on the towers and on the corners. So his fame spread even to distant places”(2 Chronicles 26:15).
The people of Judah lived in peace and prosperity until, at the age of sixty-eight, the king died. Sadness and fear blanketed the nation. Even Isaiah, the God-ordained prophet, felt the earth shutter at the seismic-shifting news. King Uzziah, the guardian of good and protector of peace, was dead and gone.
I wonder if Isaiah fell to his knees and cried out to God. “Oh Lord! What will happen to your chosen nation without Uzziah on the throne? What will happen to me?” That may be when God opened the prophet’s eyes to reveal this incredible vision of the glory of God!
Isaiah later penned these words: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies; his glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke” (Isaiah 6:1-4).
With his adoration and affections on Uzziah, he hadn’t seen it. But with Uzziah out of the way, Isaiah could see the One who had always been seated on His high and lofty throne! He could hear the angelic beings encircling their Master, singing of His holiness. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies!” Gloriously holy and All-Powerful, commanding the invincible Armies of Heaven!
Having peeked into heaven’s inner-sanctuary, Isaiah seems next to glance in the mirror. “Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Having seen the holiness of God, he is instantly aware of his own sin and shame. But the God of Grace and Master of Mercy proclaimed, “your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7). As the epic vision closes, Isaiah the prophet is commissioned to make the vision known, to preach the compelling good news to a waiting and watching world (Isaiah 6:7-8).
We too have been redeemed and restored by the Eternally-Reigning King of Glory. With Isaiah, let’s say, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8).
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.