PRIDE AND PUNISHMENT
2 Chronicles 26
A Teen Is King
Uzziah's father was assassinated by his own people, but the people did not have any intentions of ending that dynasty, and so he was made King over Judah at just sixteen years old. Uzziah built Eloth after conquering the Edomites. Uzziah's reign would last fifty-two years. Uzziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and he sought God faithfully under the leadership and direction of Zechariah. Zechariah taught Uzziah to fear the Lord and obey his commands. Uzziah enjoyed God's favor, and he prospered when he obeyed just as God had promised. Uzziah demonstrated great skill as a military leader, and the army won many victories. He strengthened the kingdom by establishing cities and fortresses along the way. He led a successful campaign against the Philistines and dismantled strategic strongholds as he broke through wall after wall capturing cities and raising new ones in their place. This King was a conqueror. God gave Uzziah and his army victory over Arabians, Meunites, and the Ammonites who paid tribute to him. King Uzziah's reputation spread to the surrounding countries even as far as Egypt. Uzziah fortified Jerusalem and the outlying areas surrounding it, even in the wilderness to protect the herds. Uzziah loved the soil, and he cut cisterns while he employed farmers and vinedressers. Judah returned to a place of prominence during the reign of King Uzziah. Uzziah's army was vast, organized, well equipped, and filled with men of valor as well as gifted military leaders. Uzziah had advanced weaponry because of his war machines invented by skillful men. King Uzziah was strong because of God's help.
Pride Goes Before The Fall
King Uzziah's prosperity filled him with pride instead of humility. Instead of giving glory to God and recognizing that all his accomplishments were provided by God, he grew proud to his destruction. Uzziah was unfaithful to the Lord, and he entered the temple to burn incense on the altar. This was an abuse of power and willful disobedience to the Lord's command. It was an attempt to usurp the position and privilege of the priesthood. Uzziah took a censer and entered the temple against the protests of the priests. These priests were men of valor, and they stood their ground. King or not, Uzziah was rebuked for his presumptuousness and commanded to leave. King Uzziah was angry with these priests for questioning him, and at that moment, leprosy broke out on his forehead. The priests rushed King Uzziah out of the temple, but he did not resist them because the Lord struck him. The Lord raised him up, and the Lord humbled him. King Uzziah spent the rest of his days as a leper in a separate house. Uzziah's son Jotham took over his father's affairs and governed the people of the land. King Uzziah would never enter the sanctuary of the temple again. When King Uzziah died, he was buried in a field because he was a leper.
Things To Consider:
- How much pressure do you think young Uzziah felt when he was made King? Why?
- Why is it important to be mentored and discipled by godly leaders?
- Why is success so dangerous?
- Why is prosperity dangerous?
- If you are enjoying success, why should you be on your guard?
- Do you give glory to God for every achievement? How?
- Are you seeking authority that God has not given to you?
- Why is pride such an affront to God?
- Why were Uzziah's consequences so harsh?