Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it ...

So the world is going into meltdown ... again.  Looking at many of the current headlines many commentators swing wildly from pessimism to outright gloom and doom (yes I know both are negative).  We're told the worlds financial systems are in meltdown, the wealth that many have been squirreling away for years is evaporating and free market capitalism is failing (which is why it needs propping up ... ???)

In Isaiah 6 we find the story of how the props, the hopes, the dreams of one man and his nation were knocked out from under them.  It begins with the words, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple." (NIV)  King Uzziah (sometimes referred to as Azariah) became king aged 16 (2 Kings 15:1-6).  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and his fame spread throughout the world as he became very powerful (2 Chr 26:8). 

His reign marked the height of Judah’s power. He fought successfully against other nations and exacted tribute from the Ammonites. Judah expanded westward with settlements in Philistia.  During the period of Uzziah’s reign, the nation prospered, and desert areas were reclaimed by water conservation. Jerusalem’s walls were reconstructed, towers were added, and engines of war were mounted at strategic points. A large army was also maintained. (ref: Britannica Online based on 2 Chr 26)

But then he died!

And all the hopes and dreams of Judah were knocked out from under them.  The nation was in despair.  Isaiah's hopes that under Uzziah's leadership the children of God would turn from their corrupt practices had come crashing down around him. In his despair he cried out to God "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord."  It took the collapse of the man-conceived notions of power and prosperity to turn Isaiah's focus back to God.

But this was no "same old same old" revelation.

Isaiah "saw the Lord seated on a throne" - the symbol of rulership and authority.  Isaiah had to realise that God was the king over all kings.  It was God's authority that would prevail and could be trusted.

"high and exalted" - God was over all.  God's authority was not on a par with mans authority.  His authority was above anything man could ever conceive of.  Not only above and beyond but also of greater good and wisdom - it was exalted!

"the train of his robe filled the temple" - there was no room for anything except the presence of God.  Isaiah needed to see that in his life there was no room for reliance on anybody or anything but God.

What about you today?  Where is your reliance?  Have you been caught up in the philosophies and ideologies of man?  Paul wrote, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Col 2:8)  In this time of panic and meltdown are you able to see God?  Is it forcing you to reassess your values? 

The truth is that Jesus said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  (Matt 6:33) Then he went on to explain the kingdom of God: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Matt 13:44,45) 

What do you hold in your hand that stops you from taking hold of that treasure, that pearl, that promise of God?  Are you willing to give up all your dependancies?  All your philosophies?  All your financial guarentees?  Can you let go and seek first God's kingdom, his ways, his promises, his truth and allow him to be the one who fills the temple of your heart??

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