The Challenge Of God's Call
"In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up . . . " (Isaiah 6:1 ).
In a year when death was experienced, God broke through. A ruling monarch was removed by death. Uzziah had come into great responsibility at a very young age (16) and displayed exceptional qualities and giftings (2 Chronicles 26 ). He served God, doing what was right in His sight.
"As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper" (2 Chronicles 26:5 , KJV).
He conquered the Philistines, the Arabians and the Mehunims. He obviously subdued the Ammonites in such a way as to get them to give "gifts" unto him (v.7-8).
Uzziah was a demolisher of the walls of the enemy. He brake down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod and among the Philistines (showing he did not in any way fear them!) (v.6-8).
He built towers in Jerusalem, in the desert and digged many wells (v9-10).
He got into farming in a big way, with cattle and vineyards (v.10). He loved horticulture.
His reputation as a "winning warrior" spread far and wide . . . even to Egypt (v.8).
Uzziah had a fighting army of 307,500 men serving under 2,600 leaders (that's an average of 118.27 men per leader).
Uzziah had everything going for him, even God helping him because of his heart to seek after God.
He was a very creative leader:
" . . . he made in Jerusalem engines ("inventions, thoughtful works"), invented by cunning("skilful") men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks ("a corner, a battlement in a wall" - Wilson's), to shoot arrows and great stones withal . . ." (2 Chronicles 26:15 , KJV).
There came a change.
Uzziah started to trust in his own success, his own strength . . . the more it went on, the more invincible he felt. Then he violated against God, became unteachable and unmanageable, even to the point of interferring with the priests' ministry and burning incense himself in the temple of God. Judgment fell and Uzziah became a leper to the day of his death (v.18-21). 52 years of ministry (v.3) was spoiled because pride and arrogance got in (v.16).
What a tragedy!
How are the mighty fallen!
He was such a good commander of men! So gifted, talented and able!
Uzziah not only became a spiritual blockage to himself and to the nation of Judah, it seems that the call to God's people, leadership and the missions call, was halted until Uzziah departed the scene. Leaders can block the missions vision and call from coming on the people! That blockage continues until such time as the leader moves on, is removed, or dies. On his removal from the scene, a fresh revelation comes of the call of God for service!
When King Saul died, David was able to officially come to the throne (2 Samuel 5 ).
Out of death comes a new release, a new vision, a new understanding of the ways of God, a new leader or leaders.
After Uzziah had died, Isaiah saw the Lord in all His Glory: Isaiah 6 :
Naturally, we do not see the whole earth full of God's Glory. We see the ravages of sin, disease, sorrow and despair. We see a Christ-rejecting world bound up in the effects of secular humanism - a world devoid of God!
That which Isaiah saw caused him to see himself. And what he saw of himself he did not like at all!
Then he said, "My doom is sealed, for I am a foul-mouthed sinner, a member of a sinful, foul-mouthed race . . . " (Isaiah 6:5 , TLB).
Why did he speak like that?
It was his re-action to seeing King Jesus!
When he saw Jesus, he also saw himself - the two contrasts! (v.5)
To see the Living God through such a spiritual experience as Isaiah had causes us to also see ourselves.
It makes us realize how hopeless and helpless we are without Him!
If only Uzziah had seen the King of Glory, rather than his own pride and success. What a difference that would have made to his life's testimony!
Once Isaiah had seen himself, one of the seraphims came to him with a live coal from off God's altar and laid it on his mouth. A powerful, cleansing process took place in Isaiah's life and his lips, mouth, language and sinfulness was dealt with (v.7).
Now, once he had had such an encounter with God and His seraphims, Isaiah hears the voice of the Lord personally directed to him. Prior to that he heard the voices of the seraphims; now he hears God speaking to him!
He has had such an encounter with God, he is willing to respond with his own life:
Isaiah accepts the challenge of the call of God.
He is not worried about someone else answering the call.
God's fire, through the seraphims, had penetrated, permeated and cleansed him in such a way he knew what his generation needed.
Isaiah made himself available!
Immediately God accepted and said: "Go, and tell . . . " (v.9).
WHERE IS IT AT FOR YOU?
Missions is first and foremost about being available to God.