This week I had the blessing of listening to an amazing message (3 times 😊 ). It wasn’t because it was delivered in a powerful way or with eloquence, it was the deep, yet simple, truth of the subject. I will link the message below.
After listening to this message all week, I determined to slowly read through the chapter and make notes as I read. With the heavy influence of the message and what the Lord opened up to me as I read, here are my notes (I will also copy/paste the chapter below – please read it before or after you read the notes, whatever you prefer):
The chapter I am referring to is 2Chronicles 26. As a side note; this is a perfect example of the importance of being fed the Word of God by Godly men – I have read 2Chronicles, or at the least listened to it read, and I am disappointed to say I do not remember a thing about the book or this chapter. So, thank you James Jennings and the rest of Grace Community Church in San Antonio!
This chapter is about the rise and fall of Uzziah the king.
· Uzziah’s father was a king, but Uzziah replaced him as king when he was 16 years old
· Uzziah reigned for 52 years
· He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes
It is very important to look at, “what was right in the Lord’s eyes”?
· He set himself to seek God (I would guess that would mean in prayer)
· He was instructed by a Godly man (Zechariah)
· He feared God
God did something for Uzziah, however, there were strings attached
· As long as he sought The Lord, God made him prosper
· Uzziah was VERY successful in war – the Lord helped him against his enemies
· He became famous, known far and wide
· He became strong
· He built and developed cities, and farms
· He had a massive, successful, army
· He was inventive
· He was marvelously helped (I assume this to mean, “by God”)
Uzziah was marvelously helped until he was strong. As Uzziah became strong something else happened that caused this “marvelous help to cease”. He grew proud. He grew proud to his destruction.
He grew strong which is ok; but he also grew proud, which is not ok!
· This pride led him to be unfaithful to God
· His pride and arrogance led him to disregard his position, he felt entitled to do as he wished
What was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for Uzziah?
He went into the temple and burned incense, which was the job of the appointed priests. It’s not that incense was not to be burned, it was that it was to be burned by certain people. The Lord is very serious about order, knowing your place, and knowing your position.
What happened when Uzziah did this?
· Uzziah was warned! But he wasn’t warned by just anyone, he was warned by 80 men of valor
· Had Uzziah received the rebuke, had he heeded the warning, had he left the temple in sorrow and humility, his end would have been different
· Uzziah’s response to the warning, to the rebuke, was not in sorrow and humility – it was the exact opposite – he responded with pride and anger
· Although Uzziah’s pride had been growing, this prideful act had immediate consequence. We know the Lord is slow to anger, we know He is patient, so it is likely there were other lessons of pride unlearned by Uzziah leading up to this moment
· The consequence was that the Lord struck him, immediately, with leprosy. (As I am writing this I can’t help but return to the thought that, if he would have just responded to the warning correctly he would have been fine. So, it seems that it wasn’t the burning of incense that resulted in his leprosy, it was his prideful response to warning and rebuke!)
· When the Lord struck him, he was no longer standing in rebellion, he sought to rush out quickly – but it was too late. The priests were helping rush him out – but it was too late
· For the rest of Uzziah’s life he lived separated from others because of his leprosy – he was excluded from the house of the Lord
What can we learn from Uzziah’s rise and fall?
· Seek the Lord in prayer
· Seek Godly counsel
· Fear the Lord
· Stay humble
· If you have it, God gave it, don’t get prideful about it
· If you think of yourself more highly than you ought, the Lord may see fit to take your position
· Be willing to take warning and rebuke
· Receive rebuke in the correct way
2Ch 26:1 And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah.
2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth and restored it to Judah, after the king slept with his fathers.
2Ch 26:3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
2Ch 26:4 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ch 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
2Ch 26:6 He went out and made war against the Philistines and broke through the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod, and he built cities in the territory of Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines.
2Ch 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabians who lived in Gurbaal and against the Meunites.
2Ch 26:8 The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread even to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong.
2Ch 26:9 Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the Angle, and fortified them.
2Ch 26:10 And he built towers in the wilderness and cut out many cisterns, for he had large herds, both in the Shephelah and in the plain, and he had farmers and vinedressers in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil.
2Ch 26:11 Moreover, Uzziah had an army of soldiers, fit for war, in divisions according to the numbers in the muster made by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king's commanders.
2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers' houses of mighty men of valor was 2,600.
2Ch 26:13 Under their command was an army of 307,500, who could make war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
2Ch 26:14 And Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging.
2Ch 26:15 In Jerusalem he made machines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.
2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:17 But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the LORD who were men of valor,
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. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the LORD God."
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the LORD, by the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the LORD had struck him.
2Ch 26:21 And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. And Jotham his son was over the king's household, governing the people of the land.
2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from first to last, Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz wrote.
2Ch 26:23 And Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said, "He is a leper." And Jotham his son reigned in his place.