Isaiah 7:1…

Isaiah 7:1…

Progress…

We hear a lot about ‘progress’ these days. It is familiar to our ears, and always seems to be THE thing people are inspired to seek after.

But is progress really ‘progressive?’

God has sent Isaiah to king Ahaz to make this very point. “Ahaz, you are indeed making progress, but all of it is in the wrong direction.”

It had been two generations since king Uzziah ruled over the nation of Judah. Uzziah was a good king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He became king at the age of 16, and he ruled 52 years over the nation.

Uzziah did everything that was right in the eyes of the Lord with one notable exception: he allowed the worship of foreign gods to continue in the nation. Unwittingly to Uzziah, this became the seed of ‘progress’ that would become his grandson’s downfall.

Oh, and Uzziah did one other thing wrong – and it was terrible. Uzziah became great in his own heart. Success went to his head. He went into the temple to burn incense before God. This may sound like a good thing – but it was strictly forbidden in the Law of God for a king to act as a priest. He was opposed by those present, and he was opposed by God – becoming a leper from that moment to the day of his death.

When he died, Uzziah was succeeded by his son Jotham. The Bible tells us Jotham also did “what was right in the eyes of the Lord,” yet he allowed the worship of foreign gods as his father had done. Progressive, I suppose, to be tolerant of idolatry. One other thing, and it was also huge…Jotham never entered the Temple since his father had become leprous there. So Jotham did some godly things during his reign, but he had no relationship with God. That’s progress for you…

By the time Ahaz, Jotham’s son and Uzziah’s grandson began his reign, the die was cast. The nation was progressing – but in the wrong direction. Ahaz was a wicked king who did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and he had no relationship with God.

It was to progressively-wicked Ahaz Isaiah was sent to proclaim the coming of Messiah…

-Pastor Bill