“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord…..”. So writes Isaiah as he gives the account of his call to the prophetic ministry (Isaiah 6:1). Mention of the year of Uzziah’s death is, I believe, more than a way of placing the event in its historical context.
There might have been a fear of instability, of the unknown, of possible foreboding at the death of the king. Who, and therefore, what will follow? But by this vision Isaiah is assured that, though the throne of Israel be empty, the throne of God most certainly isn’t. “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted”.
In the year that Queen Elizabeth II died we saw, among other things: a pandemic coming to an end (or perhaps preparing for a comeback), a cost of living crisis, the threat of enormous energy bills, rail strikes, an ongoing war in Ukraine, floods covering a third of Pakistan and, to cap it all, a new Prime Minister, Cabinet and King! Plenty of cause for confusion, uncertainty, speculation, apprehension, even despair in some cases, you might think, especially for those who don’t like change.
That is, of course, if we look down at the world around us. But the world around us is not all that there is! As well as looking down in compassion and earnest prayer, we must also look up in confidence – to see the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted.
Let our earnest prayer be that, in the midst of current uncertainties and difficulties, fears and changes, the peoples of this nation will, in a wonderfully new, even miraculous, way see the Lord. Praise God that the media laid such great stress on our late Queen’s Christian faith. May the church take courage on the back of that to be bold in asserting that same faith as we long to see, and pray for, revival in our day, if it please the Lord to send it. But his being on the throne is not only a cause to trust him, but also a serious reason to honour and obey him wholeheartedly.
Matthew Henry comments on Isaiah 6:1 thus: “Israel’s king dies, but Israel’s God still lives. King Uzziah died a leper in a hospital, but the King of kings still sits upon his throne.”
Your brother in Christ,