Not much is known about Isaiah before king Uzziah died. About the only thing anyone can say with certainty is that his father was more famous than he was. His father’s name was Amoz and Isaiah was known as the “Son of Amoz.”
It’s debatable, but tradition says Isaiah’s father was king Uzziah’s uncle. If that is true, Isaiah and king Uzziah were first cousins. It would explain why Isaiah’s father was so well-known (he was the king’s uncle) and why Isaiah knew so much about the politics of his day (he was the king’s first cousin).
Anyway, not much is known about Isaiah before king Uzziah died, but things changed from that point on. Uzziah’s death was a major crisis in Isaiah’s life and it was a life changing event for the great prophet.
Uzziah was 16 years old when he became the king of Judah and he ruled for 52 years. He was faithful to God during the early years of his reign (II Kings 15:3; II Chron. 26:4-5). He gained God’s favor for the nation and he was arguably the greatest king since David.
With God’s help, he took Judah to a golden age of power and prosperity. He conquered the Philistines and the Arabians, collected tribute from the Ammonites, strengthened the defenses ofJerusalem, built up Judah’s army, and improved Judah’s agriculture. He was so blessed of God that he became a famous and highly respected leader even in other nations (II Chron. 26:6-14).
But about 11 years before the end of his reign he made a terrible mistake. Pride got the best of him and he went to the Temple to burn incense to God on the altar of incense. This was something that only a consecrated priest was allowed to do.
Many of the priests, including the High Priest, tried to stop him from breaking the Law of Moses. They asked him to leave but he became angry with them and God struck him with leprosy right there on the spot in the presence of perhaps as many as 80 priests (II Chron. 26:16-19).
Leprosy is a contagious disease so for the remainder of his life this great leader had to go into quarantine to keep from infecting others (Lev. 13:45-46; II Chron. 26:20). He was limited in what he could do so his son Jotham was promoted to serve with him as coregent during his remaining 11 years (II Chron. 26:21).
Jotham assisted his father during those last 11 years and he served alone for five more years. He was a good king like his father, but he refused to go to the Temple where God struck his dad with leprosy and he allowed religious corruption in the nation (II Chron. 27:1-2). He refused to worship the true God and he let his people worship false gods (II Kings 15:32-35).
This sin would eventually lead to the destruction of Judah.
Isaiah loved king Uzziah, but 11 years of leprosy and 67 years of age took its toll and the good king died. Jotham was a good man, but he was young and he wasn’t the great leader that his dad was. Judah needed someone that would worship the true God, set a good moral example and bring revival to the nation, but Jotham wasn’t that kind of man.
King Uzziah’s death and the pending lone rule of Jotham disturbed Isaiah. His beloved king, his great cousin, his good friend was dead; Judah was in trouble, sin prevailed; the nation’s power and prosperity was waning. Its military was declining, people were losing respect for Judah’s leader; and the young Jotham wouldn’t go to the Temple to seek God’s solution for these perplexing problems.
The death of Judah’s great leader was a crisis for Isaiah. It appeared to be the beginning of the end for Judah.
So Isaiah went to the Temple where he received a great revelation: The good king was dead, but God was not dead. A lesser king was on Judah’s throne, but God was still on the throne in heaven. The nation was declining, but God was still in control and He knew what to do. The real King is not an earthly king. The real King is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
In 2008, a young immoral, incompetent, ineffective leader took the seat of power in the U.S. He needs God’s guidance, but his religious background is a disaster and he rarely, if ever, visits a Bible-believing church. He could be a good moral example and try to bring this nation back to God, but he seems to favor Muslim militants and black extremists over those who follow the God of Israel.
He is a proud man who doesn’t fear breaking the Law of Moses (same-sex marriage, thou shalt not bear false witness, etc.). With him in office America’s power, prosperity and military have declined. He has betrayed our allies and lost the respect of leaders in other nations.
Many fear that America’s sin will lead to the destruction of the U.S. Many in this once-great nation are discouraged. Some long for another Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy or Reagan, but those great leaders are dead and the man in office doesn’t have what it takes.
Some think he is the beginning of the end of America, but the true God is still on the throne. He is our hope and He is in control. He is our hope, but we need to do what Isaiah did: Go before His throne, confess, repent and pray.
Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck