Passage: The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Journal: 1. King Uzziah -- He was a faithful king in his early years but, much like King David and King Solomon, did not finish as strongly. His downfall was his pride (2 Chron.26:4) and resulted in him being smitten with leprosy in his final years. 2. King Jotham -- The son of King Uzziah, who was both a powerful military leader (like King David) and a prolific builder (like King Solomon). His reign was considered a good one (2 Chron. 27). 3. King Ahaz -- The son of King Jotham, he was completely faithless and his reign was a wretched one (2 Chron. 28). He closed the temple, used temple money to pay tribute to Assyria and allowed Canaanite religion. He even burned alive his own children as a pagan ritual. Assyria was at the gates of Jerusalem and Judah in horrible peril during the reign of this faithless king. 4. King Hezekiah -- The son of King Ahaz. God raised him up just in time, as he was the most faithful king since King David. His reign was characterized with the constant threat from Assyria but, with the faithful message of Isaiah, he was able to resist the temptation of a faithless response to the threat.
These are the men leading Judah during the ministry of Isaiah. The threat of Assyria, placing hope in faithless men and nations, and the allure of paganism are the common enemy at the end of each scepter. As we were reminded in the Book of James, it is in the midst of the test and at the height of suffering that our faith is refined and defined. God is our strength, and our wandering eyes can be our greatest weakness. It is to Him alone that we must look.