His name was Uzziah, and we read his story in the Bible, in the book of 2 Chronicles, chapter 26. We can read that he was a religious man, trying to do what God wanted. Because of that, God blessed the king with great success, militarily and economically. Everything he did turned out well.
Until he got too proud. Then Uzziah decided that his power as king wasn't great enough, that he wanted the power the priests had as well. When he tried to go against God's law and make an offering in the temple, God gave Uzziah a terrible disease. The king was immediately removed from public life and died in shame a few years later.
Can you imagine how his followers felt the terrible day when someone said, "Did you hear about King Uzziah?" Can you imagine the heartbreak and the disillusionment? Great and powerful King Uzziah was now disgraced and dying King Uzziah.
Some of you know the story. You've read it in the newspaper: the pastor caught in sexual sin, the church leader found to be embezzling funds, the public figure with a drug problem.
Others have lived the story. Someone that you believed in failed in a terrible way. Your role model turned out to have feet of clay. A person you trusted betrayed that trust.
What do you do at times like that? What do you do when it's not a politician, but someone in the church? Do you blame God? Turn your back on religion? Leave the church?
We know how one young man reacted back in Uzziah's day. We read about it in the book of Isaiah, chapter 6: "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne" (Isaiah 6:1).
I don't think the timing is coincidental. I think it took Uzziah's death for Isaiah to really see the Lord, to recognize who the real king was.
Who is between you and God? Who are you letting be bigger than God in your life? Who keeps you from really seeing the Lord?
You'll find the same.