Shut out and shut in
A few weeks ago as I sat with Father I asked Him for a page number for a word from Him. Now this practice is not foolproof of course and may present the enemy with an opportunity to deceive me. But I trust my Father and test all things. Anyway…the page number was 246 in my new NKJV which is an unmarked Bible. So I turn up the page and it is Deuteronomy 23. My eyes fell upon the second verse….
Deu 23:2 “One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the LORD.
I pondered that verse from the Law of Moses. A bastard shall not enter the assembly of the Lord! The old man that I was, that died on the cross with Jesus was a bastard son, born out of wedlock, who never knew his real father. Since becoming a Christian in 1989 I have not been able to stay in any assembly of the Lord for long. And added to that, none of my 4 direct descendants are in any congregation of the Lord.
Here I am, one who believes that all the curses of the Law of Moses were placed upon that One Man who was hung upon a tree for us all becoming our curse for us.
Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”),
I believe that the bastard curse was indeed upon my life before coming to faith in Jesus Christ in 1989. I also believe that I died with Christ to the Law and it’s curses. I am crucified with Christ. The new man that I am inside of Jesus is free from the curses of the Law! So why is it that I am still suffering the consequences or outworking of this curse?
At that time , a few weeks ago as I said, I pondered these things before the Father and all I could do was give Him thanks that the law is holy and just and good…and also that Jesus took my curses and died under them, thereby setting me free from that curse and all others. I spoke in faith. I agreed with God that I was the result of such an illegitimate union, and as such a bastard son…..but that now!! NOW…I AM HIS SON by faith in Jesus Christ….Now I go in and out and find pasture! These things I spoke by faith despite the circumstances saying that nothing supports such words of faith.
Joh 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Obviously, if you have read some of my posts or know my testimony then the reason I am not in any church assembly is plain. In 2003 and then in 2010 I believed the Lord led me by the hand out of the church so he could open my eyes. I spoke about that experience back in 2011. But looking back I see that He had other reasons for leading me out….it was to protect the flock of God from me!!
Now that may be true, and yet I know my Father does not reveal anything so that I will feel condemned. It has been a lonely life for me. In the last 30 years I have had only 1 friend that I could fellowship with at a deep level….and then in 2003 we went different directions…he would say I got deceived by the Devil….and I the same back. So since 2003 I have known incredible loneliness and been through deep valleys of despair and doubt and self condemnation.
Then on Friday morning a few days ago, I was not starting work until 11am so once again I sat in my lounge chair and asked Father for a page number. A bit brave considering the “bad” news last time. Before I had even finished asking for a page….I sense 481…
What do I find?
The story of Azariah son of Amaziah became king of Judah. 2Kings 15
In verse 5 we read….
2Ki 15:5 Then the LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper until the day of his death; so he dwelt in an isolated house.
Some versions say he dwelt in a separate house.
Once again this is the same word to me as two weeks before. Separated by the Lord from His people. Alone. Separated. A leper. I was tempted to receive condemnation as I once again pondered this horrible truth.
Why did the Lord strike Azariah?
We read more about him in 2 Chronicles 26.
Azariah is Uzziah, the King alive during the ministry of Isaiah the prophet(Isa 6) Perhaps he is called Uzziah instead of Azariah because the chief priest is also called Azariah(2Chr26:20). What of Uzziah then do I see in my own story?
2Ch 26:5 He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
That one friend I had years ago, was a Zechariah type, a prophetic seer who operated in visions of God. We were a team in prayer and warfare. It was through him and his wife that I met my wife and together we did many exploits in the kingdom. But after we both went to the USA with our senior pastor as his prayer warriors I had a falling out with them and departed the church in 2003 fulfilling a dream the Lord had given me in 1998 in all facets. In that dream I saw that I would have to make a choice between the church and the lonely wilderness.
2Ch 26:6 Now he went out and made war against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities around Ashdod and among the Philistines.
From this verse down to verse 15 we see that Uzziah(Azariah) was a mighty warrior, anointed by God to break enemy strongholds and build up the city of God. He prospered in this work greatly and became strong.
But!! In his strength he overstepped his office. Pride blinded his eyes. Pride held others in contempt –I could do a better job than those priests!! I am God’s anointed!!
2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
He should have stayed doing his task of making war upon the enemy..a watchman…a prophetic warrior…Instead he wanted to be the Priest as well!!
2Ch 26:18 And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the LORD God.”
Uzziah was not set apart to do that Temple job…he was not called to it…not anointed for it…He trespassed by trying to be what he was not called to be. Then we read ….
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the incense altar.
2Ch 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the LORD had struck him.
2Ch 26:21 King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death. He dwelt in an isolated house, because he was a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD. Then Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
He was angry with the Priests for telling him to get out, for opposing him. His pride had puffed him up so that he thought he was above all others. This is seen in the fact that it was his forehead that the leprosy appeared on. The forehead is the place where horns grow on an ox or antelope or goat. It is with the forehead that males head butt one another in order to dominate the weaker animal, beating them into submission with the strength of their forehead.
I certainly qualify as one who is beset with pride and the tendency to want to win an argument. In the past I would challenge anyone no matter their rank in the army of God. Such was my pride which I excused as the prophetic calling. No..it was just pride!
The Lord struck him with leprosy in the very place of his strength! The seat of pride! The place where horns grow! Now he could not enter into the assembly of the Lord and receive any praise. Now he was separated from any opportunity to show off his strength and stories of victory. Now he was to dwell with the weak and the sick, the outcast and the despised. Now he would learn what it is to be weak himself…for he knew what it was to be strong. He could not but heads with any other strong bulls for there were none strong living in the Leper house where he had to dwell.
The Lord is our Father and all He does is good. So I again give Him thanks that this strong bull(only an imagined strength) has been struck by the Father and forced outside the camp where the despised and the rejected ones live…the outcasts and the lost live….Like Joseph in Egypt, who boasted of his dreams and found himself in the pit and the prison and a foreign land where there was no singing of Yah and no praise of Jesus….just worldliness and drudgery and work, eat sleep cycle of life. Those years of loneliness and drudgery made Joseph ready for what he was called to be in the end.
So we give thanks to Him who is carrying us through all this….never once condemning ourselves for our past mistakes or for our inherent qualities that have caused us problems.
Uzziah died a leper…having once been a mighty king outwardly….perhaps at the end He was mighty inwardly having become peaceable and loving, kind and compassionate in the end. His name UZZIAH means Strength of Jah. It was Paul who said he gladly boasted in his weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon Him….Paul pleaded with God to take away the affliction from him and what was the divine response?
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The suffering endured by Paul gave us the letters of the New Testament….the suffering endured by Uzziah speaks of the strength of God humbling Himself to become a weak and despised man, so that He could go to the cross with each of us in His heart, and take us all the way into His death on the cross…only to raise us up on the third day in Christ Jesus….Healed of all forms of Leprosy forever!
We have been seized into God for His purpose…that He might make us exactly like Himself. He has done it and is faithfully doing it. We give thanks for all these things!!
Uzziah was shut out of the physical Temple but hopefully learned through giving thanks, to enter into the real Temple and to rest inside of God.
Isa 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.