The Lord has brought me back to Isaiah 6 in the past few weeks. Our nation is broken and torn apart, rage and conflict run rampant. There seems to be a great divide in our nation. What is the response God desires from His beloved ones in the midst of all we are observing? How do we pray? What do we say? What do we do?
Isaiah 6 gives us a lesson for the nation who puts their hope in government success instead of God Himself. Isaiah 6 begins, “In the year that King Uzziah died….” Verse 1. Uzziah was the greatest king in the Old Testament after David & Solomon. Uzziah was 16 years old when he was given the throne and he sought the Lord. “He sought God during the days of Zechariah (a prophet & priest), who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success,” 2 Chronicles 26:5.
King Uzziah feared the Lord and sought His counsel for leading the nation of Israel. For 42 years he had great success, formed a trained army and he refortified cities and defended Jerusalem. Uzziah led Israel in military victories over the Philistines and other neighboring nations. He was a strong king, energetic, a builder, a planner, and a general. The culture was increased. Finances increased throughout the land of Israel. His fame spread far and wide. 2 Chronicles 26:15, “…His fame spread far & wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.”
He was the political leader of his day. God blessed the works of his hands. However, when he became strong, pride entered his heart. He saw himself higher than the priests and prophets. He imagined that it was his leadership that was the success of the nation. His life ended tragically as a leper in isolation according to 2 Chronicles 26:21. “…but after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall…” 2 Chronicles 26:16 tells us.
After Uzziah died, three things happened because Israel forsakes the Lord (2 Chronicles 28). 1) Dramatic economic decline, 2) Decline of morality and 3) Decline of national safety.
This is the backdrop of Isaiah 6. “In the year that King Uzziah died…” Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up! “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of the robe filled the temple,” verse 1. In Isaiah’s vision, he hears the witness of heaven. He is reminded that the success of Israel has nothing to do with a charismatic leader, but the King of heaven! God confronts his mistrust placed in Judah’s king, Uzziah.
God was saying to Isaiah, “The good king Uzziah is not on his throne, but I AM ON MINE!” God’s throne is in a superior position, it is the seat of all power and authority over everything!
Verse 1 continues, “…and the train of His robe filled the temple.” When Isaiah wrote this, the length of the train on a person’s robe was a symbol of that person’s status. In Old Testament times, when a king would send his men into battle, after they defeated their enemy, the king would walk through the battle ground and take for the men spoils. The greatest recognition for the king would be taking a piece of the defeated king’s robe. He would then sow that piece onto the bottom of his own kingly robe. The length of the king’s “train” would be a sign of his greatness. The longer the train, the more victories the king had, the more kings and nations defeated.
In Isaiah’s vision, he sees the train of God’s robe filling the temple. What was that vision like? Imagine, the train filled the temple! This establishes that the status of God is immense! God was revealing to Isaiah that He is the God of victory! He has defeated sin and death. His robe signifies the defeat of the enemy. This figure of speech describes the majesty of God~ His greatness, strength and victory over all things!
This vision poured confidence into Isaiah for his nation. Good king Uzziah may not be on the throne, but God is on His throne and His throne is established for ever and ever.
Jesus warned his friends several times in the gospels about three kinds of yeast: The yeast of Herod, the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of the Kingdom. Here is what we know about yeast: Heat activates yeast. A little of it works its way through the entire batter. Jesus warned the disciples to watch out for the yeast of Herod and the Pharisees. Jesus used this language to explain the outside influences on thought patterns and mind sets that the disciples would have to guard against. This too is what we need to guard our hearts against.
The yeast of Herod is the political and world system. When Jesus was alive on the earth, Herod was the governing official, so he represents the world’s systems and the leaders in it, who deny the existence of God. The world’s system always opposes the Kingdom of Heaven. I John 2:15-17 is the exhortation to the Church from John, about the world’s system, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world~ the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does~ comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” This is a warning to us not to view the political process, system and leadership as the key to the nation’s success.
The yeast of the Kingdom of God is going in the direction of the Lord. Jesus calls us, His friends, to activate the yeast of the Kingdom, in which the foundation is a relationship with a real God (the Father in heaven) who loves us and has given us power and authority to bring heaven to earth. It’s what Jesus instructed us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” The yeast of the Kingdom is faith and it lives and draws from the invisible realm.
Matthew 5-6-7 is the best description of the Kingdom of heaven. It is the complete opposite of the world’s system and the Pharisee’s system. The Kingdom of heaven is the “upside down kingdom”. Matthew 5:44-45 sum up what Jesus calls us to, “…love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who…persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father”. Love. Bless. Do good. Pray.
We, the body of Christ desire to walk through the crisis in our nation according to the leading of the Spirit. We need to remember: