2 Chronicles 26
-After Amaziah’s assassination, his young son, Uzziah, was made king of Judah at the age of sixteen. He ruled for 52 years in Jerusalem doing a majority of things in righteousness. “He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him (2 Chronicles 26:5).” He warred against traditional enemies of the kingdom with success, and “his fame extended to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong (2 Chronicles 26:6-8).” He built towers for protection in Jerusalem and was innovative in new military techniques. He reestablished Eloth to Judah (2 Chronicles 26:2), and built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns for water supply for the livestock, which was multiplied both in the lowland and in the plain (2 Chronicles 26:9-15). He is described as a king who was marvelously helped until he was strong with far reaching fame and respect (2 Chronicles 26:15).
-“But, when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the alter of incense (2 Chronicles 26:16).” He exceeded his authority set up by the LORD through Moses, for the priests of God had this honor and privilege. These priests, led by Azariah, rebuked the king since he was not a consecrated person for the offerings and told him to get out of the sanctuary. Further they awakened him to the fact that he was being unfaithful and had lost his honor from the LORD God (2 Chronicles 26:17-18). In Uzziah’s anger and rebellion to this rebuke, he contracted leprosy immediately on his forehead while beside the altar of incense. The priest hurried him out of there because the LORD had smitten him with this infectious disease, and the king obliged. “King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate house, being a leper, for he was cut off from the house of the LORD (2 Chronicles 26:19-21a).” His son Jotham ruled over the land in his absence and officially became king upon his father’s death and burial, which was in the field of the grave which belonged to the kings. In the end he was only known as “a leper (2 Chronicles 26:21b-23).”
-*Application* There are harsh penalties to pay when we are willfully prideful and disobedient to the LORD’s commands in our own arrogance. His expectations are high and we need to remain faithful and humble all our days, no matter how successful we become. Remember who put you in position of honor and authority. He can just as quickly remove you from your prestige and place when you transgress His ways. Remember the lessons of King Uzziah’s life.
Verse to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 26:5