Seeking God

Pastor Glenn Townend highlights the contrast in Uzziah and Isaiah's attempts to seek God.

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Meditation retreats, chanting rituals, time alone in nature. These are ways people try to connect with God. The quest of every honest spiritual seeker is to see and understand God­—our ultimate purpose.

King Uzziah, the longest-serving king of Judah (52 years), “set himself to seek God” (2 Chronicles 26:5 ESV). Uzziah was successful in farming, war, building and manufacturing as a blessing from God, but he felt something was still missing. The central focus of the Israelite religion was the temple in Jerusalem—God’s glorious presence was in the Most Holy Place. Uzziah had to see it. However, only priests could go into the temple.

As a proud and successful king, Uzziah went into the Holy Place to offer incense before God. 81 priests apprehended Uzziah. In a rage, he tried to get past and leprosy appeared on his head. In horror, he left the temple and palace and lived in quarantine for the rest of his life.

"Uzziah forced himself upon God; Isaiah was invited to see God."

In the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne, the train of His robe filling the temple (Isaiah 6:1). There were six winged angels all around the smoky glory. Isaiah, an average human, knew he was doomed. However, an angel took a coal from the altar and cleansed Isaiah. It was in this experience with God that Isaiah was called to be a prophet.

Uzziah forced himself upon God; Isaiah was invited to see God. Uzziah had the blessings of God; Isaiah had the calling of God. Uzziah saw God in history; Isaiah saw God in glory. It seems that God reveals Himself to each one in appropriate ways. We have to trust God’s personal revelations. We cannot dictate to God, but we can seek God while there is the opportunity, and help others to seek the God of compassion and forgiveness too (Isaiah 51, 55:6,7).