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With New Testament Eyes: 43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression

By Henry Mahan

      2 Chronicles 26; Isaiah 6:1-5

      Our lesson begins with Isaiah's vision in Isaiah 6:1-5.

      v. 1. In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord (God the Son) sitting upon a throne, in the posture of a judge, to hear causes and execute judgment. His train, or the borders of his judicial robes, spread abroad and filled the temple.

      v. 2. The seraphims (ministers and messengers of the Lord, bright and glorious, fervent in zeal for God's service and glory) covered their faces out of profound reverence, covered their feet, owning their own imperfections, and did fly to execute God's commands.

      v. 3. Here is the essence of the vision: 'One cried unto another and said, holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.' God is infinitely, eternally, and immutably holy in all his ways. It is repeated for the greater assurance and establishment of the fact. If there is one attribute used most frequently or one word to emphasize the nature of our God, it is 'God is holy' (1 Tim. 6:15-16), unapproachable by sinful creatures.

      v. 5. Isaiah's response to the vision was to declare, 'Woe is me, I am cut off from God. I am an unclean branch of an unclean tree. I am a great sinner, especially by my lips, which reveal my heart. There is no hope for me nor those about me, before God's awful holy presence.'

      Was there a connection between the death of King Uzziah and Isaiah's vision? Who was King Uzziah? What relationship did he have with Isaiah? How did he die? Read II Chronicles 26.

      v. 22.. Isaiah was the prophet of God during the reign of Uzziah (Isa. 1:1). Isaiah wrote of the acts and rule of Uzziah from first to last.

      vv. 1-4. Uzziah was a good king, who did that which was right in the sight of the Lord God. He sought the Lord, and God made him to prosper. God helped him in battle (vv. 7-8). He served the people, building towers in the desert to protect herds, digging many wells, and planting vineyards (v. 10). He had a great army (vv. 12-13), was a brilliant leader (v. 15), and his name was known far and wide.

      v. 16. But Uzziah made a serious and fatal mistake which led to his utter destruction and death. 'When he was strong,' he was mighty, he was proud of his accomplishments, he was free from the fear of the enemy; and his heart was so overcome by his importance that he went into the temple, into the holy place, where the altar of incense stood, and into which none but the priest might enter, to offer incense himself upon the altar.

      v. 17-18. Azariah, the priest, and eighty priests of the Lord withstood King Uzziah, declaring unto him the seriousness of his act. Only the priests of God, the sons of Aaron, were consecrated by God to burn incense to the Lord. No man, not even a king, was permitted to offer sacrifices for sin (Heb. 5:1- 5). They told him that such an act could not honor him before God. No matter how sincere nor how great a man may be, it is folly to violate the holiness of God.

      vv. 19-21. Instead of listening to the priest and leaving the temple, Uzziah became angry and held to the censer to burn incense. God smote the proud king with leprosy, took away his office, and he died in disgrace as a common leper. When they buried him, they said, 'He is a leper.'

      Isaiah evidently learned much from the death of King Uzziah.

      He said, 'In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord; I saw myself and I saw the condition of the people.'

      God is holy! Our God is infinitely, indescribably holy in all his ways, acts, and nature. He will in no wise clear the guilty nor receive any man apart from perfect holiness.

      He will not speak to, nor be spoken to by, any sinful creature. He is unapproachable except through the Mediator.

      Men are sinners! 'There is none that doeth good, no not one.' There is none righteous. 'Your sins have separated you and your God.' 'Every imagination of the heart of man is evil continually.'

      There is a way to God! Our God in mercy and grace has determined to redeem, sanctify, and receive a people out of every tribe, kindred, and tongue, but only in the way consistent with his holiness, righteousness, and truth. He will be both just and justifier; he will be both merciful and righteous; he will be a just God and a Saviour (Isa. 45:20-25).

      Christ is the way! Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to earth made of woman, made under the law to redeem. He is our surety by divine decree; he is our righteousness by perfect obedience; he is our sacrifice, sin-offering, and atonement by death; he is our risen justifier and our great High Priest who intercedes at God's right hand. No man cometh to God but by, in, and through Christ Jesus (John 14:6).

      The Old Testament priests, appointed and consecrated by God, were pictures and types of Christ, our great High Priest.

      They entered the holy place as Christ entered heaven; the incense they burned is the prayers of Christ, the atonement they offered is the blood of Christ; and the fact that only the priest with a suitable sacrifice was accepted reveals that only Christ can effectually bring a sinner to God! When King Uzziah proceeded to usurp the authority of the priest and burn incense to God in the holy place, he was ignoring the Lord Jesus Christ and coming to God in his own person and works. For this great sin God destroyed him, as he will all who reject the Redeemer.

      Would you approach God for mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance? Then receive, bow to, and confess Christ Jesus.

      Do not come any other way (Heb. 10:11-22).

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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