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The Punishment of Uzziah

John Collins06/15/2012
2 Chronicles 26 describes the rise and fall of king Uzziah.  

Though he was only sixteen years old when he was made king, he reigned with God by his side and was instructed by Zechariah.  God helped him defeat the Philistines, Arabians in Gurbaal, and the Meunites.  

His fame quickly spread throughout the land.  Uzziah built towers in the wilderness, cutting out many cisterns to provide water.  He loved the soil, and helped many farmers with their soil and large herds.

As his power grew, his army grew with him.  He had over three hundred thousand able bodied men in his army, and they were prepared with a large armory of both battle armor and weapons.  

He was not defeated in battle, however.  Uzziah was defeated by his own pride.  As he grew proud, he led himself down the path of destruction.  He was unfaithful to the Lord God.

Uzziah entered into the temple to burn incense, and Azariah attempted to stop him.  Only the priesthood was consecrated to burn incense, but Uzziah refused to stop.  

As he held the censer to burn the incense, he became angry with Azariah and the priests.  Immediately, his forehead broke out with leprosy.  Standing there beside the alter, Azariah and the priests looked at him to see this great king that was now a leper.

For the rest of his life, Azariah remained a leper, and his son Jotham was appointed to be in charge of governing the people of the land.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  When God helps us in a magnificent and mighty way, do we give Him the glory, or do we raise our own pride?  When God works through others, do we raise them up, or raise up the God who they should magnify?  Do we boast ourselves, telling others of the spiritual gifts or accomplishments God has worked through us?  Do we try to spread our own fame, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ?