King Uzziah’s death marked the end of an era. His reign had been long and prosperous. Uzziah became king when he was 16, and he reigned over Judah for 52 years. Uzziah had listened to the prophet Zechariah; he feared God, and God made him prosper. But Uzziah’s pride got the best of him. (See 2 Chron. 26:16.) God struck Uzziah with leprosy. Then Uzziah died.
Under Uzziah’s leadership, God’s people had turned away from the promises of God and trusted in the promises of the world around them. God had promised to bless the entire world through Abraham’s family, but God’s people were rebellious. Instead of blessing, they set themselves up to receive God’s judgment.
But God’s plans and promises were not thwarted. God sent the prophet Isaiah to preach a message of hope. Even though God was going to correct His people through judgment, His purpose was one of grace through which God would receive glory. God planned to send a Messiah who would bring salvation to the world.
Isaiah 6 opens with Isaiah worshiping in the temple. Then God gave Isaiah a vision. Isaiah saw God sitting on a throne. Yes, in the year that King Uzziah died, God was sitting on the throne. God was reigning over the universe. The magnitude of God’s holiness made Isaiah realize the magnitude of his own sin. His response? “Woe is me!”
God extended His grace to Isaiah. He took away Isaiah’s guilt. God passed over Isaiah’s sins because He was going to send Jesus to pay for them. Isaiah had a vision of God’s glory and realized his own sin. God forgave Isaiah’s sin. Like Isaiah, when we see how holy God is, we see how sinful we are. God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay for our sin. We can find salvation only in Him.
Help your kids understand that God is perfectly holy—He is pure and without sin and He is unique from anything and everyone else. God is also loving and full of mercy and grace. God sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for the sins—past, present, and future—of those who would trust in Him. When we trust in Jesus, God says to us the words Isaiah heard: “Your guilt is taken away. Your sin is atoned for.”