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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Marvelously Helped - Part 3

Beth Moore - Marvelously Helped - Part 3

Beth Moore - Marvelously Helped - Part 3
TOPICS: Marvelously Helped

Alright, go back to 2 Chronicles 26, I want to remind you where we've been. So, the leprosy or the skin disease has broken out on the forehead of Uzziah, the priests have gone out dragging him out, and he himself indeed was anxious to leave. And so, where it picks up is that we are told then in verse 21, and I'm going to read to the end of it, "So King Uzziah was diseased to the time of his death. He lived in quarantine with a serious skin disease and was excluded from access to the Lord's temple, while his son Jotham was over the king's household governing the people of the land".

So, his son is going to become king upon his death, but what would happen is that there would be a co-regent if something was wrong with the king, in this case the king had to be placed in quarantine. He was still actually king, but his son was already in the regency. He was already actively hands-on reigning, so then he would become the actual king with Uzziah's departure from this life. And so, it says in verse 22, "Now the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz wrote about the rest of the events in Uzziah's reign, from beginning to end. Uzziah rested with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the burial ground of the kings' cemetery, for they said, 'He has a skin disease.' His son Jotham became king in his place". This was his epitaph: "He has a skin disease". Can you even imagine?

Do you remember, like, "Time's" person of the year, the one with all the followers, the one that was great at everything, the one that brought all the golden age back to Judah? Jerusalem was booming economically. I mean, they'd just never been better, not in ages and ages since the days of Solomon, and this is how it ends. And so, he mentions this figure, it just comes in right at the end, just slips in right at the end of 2 Chronicles 26. They mentioned this prophet by the name, what is his name? "Isaiah son of Amoz, who wrote about the rest of the events of Uzziah's reign from beginning and end". Okay, so he's talking about a writing that we don't have. It's not part of the canon, so we have all the book of Isaiah, a long, long, long book of Isaiah, but we don't have the writing that he's talking about about King Uzziah.

So, he would have written, he was a historian of sorts, and in addition to being a prophet, and so this writing would have existed, but we don't have it in the canon. Now, I just want that to be a blessing to you somehow to know that this is what's here for us, but there were other things they wrote, other things they said. And so, somewhere in some kind of document, Isaiah the prophet had written about all of this in Uzziah's reign from beginning to end. That is important for you to know. Turn with me to Isaiah 1:1. It says this, "The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of King Uzziah, Jotham," you already know those two names because that's Uzziah, and his son is co-regent, and then the king himself, "Ahaz, and Hezekiah of Judah".

So, we have the opening of this book written by Isaiah, this same exact prophet. So, while that other writing was not held and didn't make it through all the centuries and didn't make the canon, we have this one, and we're told something about this guy that just pops up there at the end of 2 Chronicles chapter 26. They wrote all about him we have this guy now writing, and we're told about him, that he primarily ministered and served in the southern kingdom. However, if you look carefully through all the chapters of Isaiah, you would see that he has a great interest in the northern kingdom as well. Very, very high interest in what was going on and what had gone on with the Assyrians, but his main ministry is in the southern kingdom, is around Jerusalem and in Judah. And so, he served under four different kings, and so he must have, the youngest part of his life would have been spent under the king.

Remember, it was a 52-year reign, so somewhere later in that reign, we don't know how many years it would have been, he began to serve in that area as a prophet, and then he served during the reign of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. So, there's not a lot we know about this particular man beyond what we would read right here in the book of Isaiah and the clues that we get. We know that he was married and we know that he had children. I wanna just pull you out a couple of verses so you will know what he's after. I mean, the Lord is saying through the prophet Isaiah, you people, you have been my children, and you have rebelled against me, and you are weighed down with iniquity, and you have become a brood of evildoers, depraved children. You have abandoned the Lord. "Why do you want more beatings? Why do you keep on rebelling? The whole head is hurt. For the whole heart is sick from the sole of the foot, even to the head. No spot is uninjured. Wounds, welts, and festering sores, not cleansed, bandaged, or soothed with oil".

What he's saying to you is I am not going to mess with you having other gods before me. I will come down on your head. Anybody understand what I'm saying? I mean, there were a lot of things, God is patient and he's patient about idolatry, but he considers idolatry as a form of spiritual adultery, as unfaithfulness. You shall have no other gods before me and you will not make gods of the nations and you will not make gods of men and women. I am your God and there will be no other. Well, they had gone after all of the gods of the surrounding nations. They were doing insane things with idolatrous worship within the house of the Lord and within the sacred places, so he's saying I have warned you and warned you, so I make things harder and harder on you. Harder and harder, and you just keep going. You're beaten from head to toe, and yet you will not repent.

You are so stubborn that no matter how bad this gets, you just keep on rebelling. And he says, so I'm still in chapter 1, he says in verse 15, "When you spread out your hands in prayer, I refuse to look at you. Even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen because your hands are covered with blood". And then he says in verse 16, "Wash yourselves, cleanse yourselves, remove your evil deeds from my sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Pursue justice, correct the oppressor, defend the rights of the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. 'Come, let us settle this,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow. Though they are crimson red, they will be like wool. If you are willing to be obedient, you will eat the good things of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured.' This comes from the mouth of the Lord".

So, this is how the prophet's writings began. He goes on with this, so glance with me through 2, glance with me through 3, he's gonna continue to tell them, to call them out on what he's done for them and what he has seen from them in rebellion. Keeps going on, and I want you to stop with me, pause with me just for a moment in 5. Isaiah chapter 5 became so precious to me, because while I was there in Italy, we had just let a friend of ours plan our trip, so I hadn't even thought through it. I knew it was gonna be beautiful, but my daughters are what's most beautiful to me. We could have gone on a back porch somewhere with a concrete yard, and if I could have had my two daughters with me, and I could have just gone swimming in their green eyes, you know. They're what's beautiful to me, and so it didn't really matter to me except that we woke up one morning, we had taken the train, we'd gotten in late, she put us in a particular inn out in the hills in Tuscany.

We woke up the next morning, and I looked outside, and I was like, it was mid-September and we were surrounded as far as I could see, we were surrounded by vineyards. I almost can't talk about it because it makes me wanna cry. It was so beautiful. They were right at the end of the harvest where the grapes were full and heavy on the vines, and the fog hung down on them like a blanket, and it's just rolling hill, and rolling hill, and rolling hill of one vineyard after another, and I mean, I was just undone. And it would be what turned into chasing vines. It would lead me to the vine and the branches in John 15, but it also paired up right here with Isaiah chapter 5.

I wanna read to you a couple of verses here because they are so important. I want you to hear the affection of Isaiah for his God. He says in verse 1 in the song of the vineyard, I'm in chapter 5, "I will sing about the one I love, a song about my loved one's vineyard. The one I love had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He broke up the soil, cleared it of stones, and planted it with the finest vines. He built a tower in the middle of it and even dug out a winepress there. He expected it to yield good grapes, but it yielded worthless grapes. So now, residents of Jerusalem and men of Judah, please judge between me and my vineyard". So, this is now God talking.

"What more could I have done for my vineyard than I did? Why, when I expected a yield of good grapes, did it yield worthless grapes? Now I'm about to tell you what I'm going to do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it will be consumed. I will tear down its walls, and it will be trampled. I will make it a wasteland. It will not be pruned or weeded, thorns and briars will grow up. I will also give orders to the clouds that rain should not fall on it. For the vineyard of the Lord of Armies is the house of Israel and the men of Judah, the plant he delighted in, and he expected justice but saw injustice. He expected righteousness but heard cries of despair". And he goes on to talk in the rest of chapter 5 about how they had grown so prosperous and gotten so arrogant that they had forgotten to be good to people.

They had grown so prosperous and gotten so arrogant that they had forgotten to be good to people. And they'd forgotten the fatherless, they'd forgotten the widows, they'd forgotten the poor, they'd forgotten the oppressed. And I mean, he was mad about it. He was mad about it. He said I'm gonna remove the hedge. Well, what he's prophesying is of course the coming of the Babylonians, the Assyrians, first with the northern kingdom, the Babylonians then with the southern kingdom. That that wall would be torn down and they would be taken captive. Thank God, and of course he had a plan to restore them, but this was going to be their judgment for over and over again hearing him through the prophets warn them of their rebellion and warn them to repent, and that they would do no such thing.

Here is the... I can't tarry long on it, but I want you to understand the beauty. When Jesus then says on the evening that he be going to be arrested, and that within 24 hours, remember that the Hebrew day would go from the night to the afternoon just before dusk. So in that same day, he would be crucified and give his life, that on that last evening he said to them, "I am the vine, you are the branches". We think what a beautiful, I mean, that's such a cool metaphor. He was being revolutionary. The vine had been Israel all of that time. There were inscriptions on the temples talking about the vine of God being the land, Israel itself, the people themselves.

So, he comes along and says I need you to know that this is no longer about physical property, this is about whether or not your lives are planted in me, because I am the vine of God, you are the branches. With all that in mind, what he continues to do after that 7th or 8th verse is he begins this set of woes. Woe to you if, woe to you who, woe to you, woe to you, woe to you.

Would you go with me to Isaiah chapter 6? "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him. They each had six wings. With two they covered their faces and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies. His glory fills the whole earth.' The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices and the temple was filled with smoke. And then I said, 'Woe is me, for I am ruined because I'm a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Armies.'"

I want you to pause there with me. Archaeologists have seen proof, after proof, after proof of the great reign of Uzziah, because there are literally findings, there have been digs and discoveries of cisterns and towers from that period of time, some which have his name engraved on them. Do you know that archeologists also discovered a stone slab in Jerusalem with Aramaic etchings on it that would go back to the first century AD? And it's about the reburial of Uzziah's remains, this very one, and I've seen it a couple of times. I've found it in a couple of different resources just to follow it up and see what history would say about it and make sure that I could be legit in bringing it to you.

And so, there are a couple of different translations of the Aramaic, but they all say the same thing, and this is one of them. "Hither were brought the bones of Uzziah, king of Judah, do not open". After all the etchings of all his accomplishments, his bones are then in a tomb, and the inscription becomes, "Whatever you do, do not open this, lest you want leprosy". All our great accomplishments, were we to just set out to be accomplished, they will not follow us past the grave. They will not. They will not. "In the year that King Uzziah died," so what you're obviously seeing here, the obvious point of 6:1 is there has been a change in regime, there is a new king, is anybody listening to me this morning?

But for Isaiah, a prophet to this nation, there would from now on be exactly one king. He would serve under four in all (Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah) but none of them would ever wear the crown to Isaiah. He would never get confused about what he could and could not say. He would never be intimidated because, listen carefully, in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the king. It is no accident that it gets to the point where he sees in verse 5, he says, "Because my eyes have seen the King".

Man, once we get a glimpse of that, that there is no other like him, that there is truly no rival and no equal, and it is God and Christ alone, everything changes. Because you see, Isaiah would be able to be bold. He would do what God told him to do without hesitation, without intimidation, because they were just earthly men. And yes, they were authority, yes, they had authority, but he had seen the King, and that King was telling him what to say, and he was gonna say it. Every detail in it is so important, even the ones we won't get to, but I want you to look through a few of them with me as much as time will allow, and I want to remind you, how many points do we have so far?

I want you to glance back over them in your notes. I want you to remember with me that we set apart our theme, and from the beginning this majestic irony that all the already-having in the entire world can't compare to being marvelously helped, remember that? So, no matter what, to get to the end of our lives and to be able to say, "Oh, my word, through all the ups and downs, through all the ugly and the beautiful, through all my weakness and frailty, I have been marvelously helped". That that is a life that has lived a divine adventure. And we saw two points, number one was this, we have been invited into a life marvelously, what is that phrase? Helped by God.

Number two is this, woe to those who mistake God's marvelous help for their marvelous selves. We'll all mistake the marvelous help of God for our marvelous selves. And so we come to point number three, and point three is this, it's hard to see the true King when we keep crowning human heads. And of course there's authority, and we know what the Lord's will says, and we know to treat with honor and to treat with respect, but we don't crown them king of all. We don't make idols of human flesh and blood, of men and women. We do not do it, or God considers it spiritual adultery. We do not do it, and we keep ourselves checked continually, that no man or woman in any way usurps the authority of God over our lives. That we're going with God every single time, every single time, even if it means we have to go against that authority.

This is the way of the King. Nobody would ever be able to dethrone that King he had seen. I want you to look at a couple of different things. Look in verse 1, verse 1, we got a couple of things in verse 1. "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple". I want you to see the word "throne," circle the word "throne" if you like to write in your Bible, and I want you to circle the word "temple," because this chapter could not be more forthrightly tied to 2 Chronicles chapter 26. Remember, Isaiah had acted as historian over the life of Uzziah. He'd written all about it. He had seen his prosperity. He had seen what he had done for Jerusalem and Judah. Written all about it. He knew every single detail of what he had done, so every bit of this, every part of it is significant.

Did you notice that the Lord is seated on a throne, and where is the throne? Somebody tell me, where is it? It's high and lifted up and it's in the temple. It is a throne in the temple. A king who is in the area of the priesthood. It is the temple, the priesthood, with a throne in it. Do you remember what Uzziah did wrong? Uzziah was of the royal line, and what was forbidden to him was to act as priest. He had not been consecrated as a priest, he had been set apart as a king. And what he did was that he boldly and arrogantly took over without consecration, just because he felt entitled, he took over the one thing he could not do, and that was serve in that temple.

God had kept them separate all this time, except a little tiny, you'll have to look into this yourself, because we don't have time to delve there, but this little foreshadowing of the king priest, Melchizedek, way back in Genesis 14, where the idea already starts to rise up in our minds a bit. What is that about? Then he ordains that these people come together, he's got a people and says I'll make myself a people, and I will be their God, and they will be my people, and I will walk among them, and they will keep that separate. When there comes a king, his duties will be here, priesthood duties will be here, and the two will not mix because they mix in Christ. In Christ, all of it comes totally under one roof. It is the King who sits on a throne, and he sits in a temple, and he himself is the Holy of Holies.
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