Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Reading 1 - 2Ch 26
2Ch 26: Uzziah as a type of modern Israel:
The life of Uzziah was one of great achievement through divine blessing and was only marred in the last ten years of his reign by a foolish act of presumption by which he lost everything. (Uzziah attempted to enter the Temple to offer sacrifice to God, thus usurping the role of the High Priest in Israel. Possibly this was a misguided attempt to demonstrate that he was the Messiah -- which Scripture promises will be a king and a priest!)
The king who sought to become Israel's Messiah in the end became a remarkable type of modern Israel. (Some modern Israelis believe the nation itself IS the "Messiah".) The following is a brief list of the achievements of Uzziah and the way they foreshadowed the success of the State of Israel in recent years. The humbling of Uzziah is also clearly used in the Bible as a type of the humbling of the Jews by the events of Armageddon. The events of 2Ch 26 in chronological order are:
Uzziah captured and rebuilt Elath into a trading port. So Israel did in 1956. Elath today is a trading port of the utmost importance.
He captured the Shephelah and the Negev. Israel captured these areas in 1948 and 1949.
He defeated both the Arabs and the peoples of modern Jordan. In successive wars, modern Israel has also in part defeated both peoples.
He fortified Jerusalem against attack. All new buildings in Jerusalem today are specially constructed to withstand modern warfare.
He built a prosperous agricultural society. The 'miracle' of modern Israel's agricultural prosperity is world-famous.
Uzziah found water supplies in the wilderness. Israel's innovative 'Water Carrier' has brought water to barren parts.
Uzziah had an army of 300,000 trained in guerrilla warfare. Israel's army is approximately 300,000 and is perhaps the world's best guerrilla force.
He developed a unique missile capacity (engines for throwing missiles: v 15). Israel invariably updates missile systems purchased from the super-powers.
He was helped by God to achieve his military and economic success. Modern Israel has indisputably been helped by God.
Uzziah attributed his success to his own strength and abilities. Israel today believes its success is by its own strength.
Uzziah was humbled by an earthquake. Israel will be humbled by the events of Armageddon, including an earthquake likened to that which occurred in the days of Uzziah (Zec 14:5).
Smitten and humbled, Uzziah dwelt in a house apart to contemplate his sin. So the remnant of Israel will dwell apart until they realize the extent of their iniquities and pride (Zec 12:12-14).
(Gospel News, July, Aug 1995).
Reading 2 - Dan 7
Dan 7 is a graphic demonstration of Ecc 3:18,19: "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal..."
King Nebuchadnezzar saw the earlier vision, of the Kingdoms of Man as a great Image, destined to be broken and crushed to pieces by the power of God in Christ (Dan 2). Then he was taught that he, although the head of the great Image, was himself no more nor better than a beast (Dan 4). And now, in Dan 7, Daniel is given more detail about the four separate entities that constituted the Image:
In Dan 2, the four earthly kingdoms and Christ's heavenly kingdom were seen in their outward political appearance; by contrast, Dan 7 presents God's estimate of their innermost moral and spiritual features.
In Dan 2, the symbols were taken from inanimate objects; here in Dan 7, they are taken from the animate.
In Dan 2, King Nebuchadnezzar saw the splendor of these kingdoms portrayed in the dazzling statue of a man, while the Kingdom of God was symbolized by a stone. By contrast, in Dan 7, Daniel's vision reveals the animalistic character of these kingdoms of men and the fact that it is only in the Kingdom of God that man's full dignity is realized -- in the Son of Man.
In turn, Dan 7 becomes the framework for an even more detailed prophetic picture of these kingdoms, to be developed in the Book of Revelation.
Comparisons between Dan 2 and Dan 7:
Daniel 2 Daniel 7
Nebuchadnezzar's image The four beasts
Given to Nebuchadnezzar Given to Daniel
4 kingdoms, plus 1 in view 4 kingdoms, plus 1 in view
1 man, plus a stone 4 beasts, plus the Son of Man
More general More detailed
Daniel interpreted it An angel interpreted it
Man's viewpoint God's viewpoint
Reading 3 - Acts 7:60
"Then he [Stephen] fell on his knees and cried out, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' When he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60).
These words seem to be the conscious echo of Jesus' dying words in Luke 23:34: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." But there is this exception: Stephen does not add the last phrase, because they -- Israel's rulers -- DO know what they are doing! With this final rejection of the word of life by the leaders of Israel, the way is finally and conclusively opened to the Gentiles -- to Samaria and beyond.
It has been well said that the church owes Paul to the prayer of Stephen. This martyr died, but -- in answer to his dying words, the Lord Jesus Christ sought out Saul of Tarsus -- and Stephen's words, his spirit, and his mission were destined to live on in the life of his accuser and murderer, who stood unknowingly there that day -- presiding over his execution.
Likewise, Paul's dying words -- 30 years later -- may be compared both to those of his Lord and to those of his victim, Stephen: "At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. MAY IT NOT BE HELD AGAINST THEM" (2Ti 4:16). The spirit of Stephen, and of Christ, had become his, and the man Paul, knowing that soon he would die, prayed that those who had turned their backs on him would not be held accountable for that desertion.