“And 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 to prosper.” II Chronicles 26:5
Oh, what a powerful lesson is found here in this chapter. At the soft age of 16 years, following the killing of his father, Amaziah, who had turned from God, the people of Judah took Uzziah and declared him king of Israel. For fifty-two years, in the city of Jerusalem, Uzziah reigned as a godly, highly productive king.
He successfully fought the Philistines, to the extent that he completely broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, then striding in and claiming his spoil, the conqueror Uzziah built cities, even among the Philistines. He built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall–strong towers, fortified entrenchments. He built towers in the desert, and dug numerous wells. He ran cattle in the plains, and hired gardeners and farmers, and planted vineyards.
His armies were vast, including his special forces–the mighty men of valour who numbered two thousand and six hundred. Uzziah prepared his men well, handing out shields and spears and helmets and and bows and slings. He was a brilliant ruler and supreme Commander-in-Chief. He saw to cunning men who invented engines in Jerusalem to operate atop the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones should enemy forces advance to the city walls.
His fame spread, the Ammonites gave him gifts and his name was shouted abroad even to the borders of Egypt. He was strong, a marvel, highly respected, and heaped with honor.
Decades passed, and after a godly, prosperous reign of fifty-two years, Uzziah of course was no longer a young man. Then in verse 16 comes unexpected and sad news: Uzziah’s heart became lifted up, and in an arrogant moment, he decided to go into the temple and burn incense. Now understand, this was definitely beyond his calling as king, for the temple services were relegated to the priests. It was God’s plan, God’s order. The priests saw Uzziah and tried to stop him, but he became furious…and at that moment, he became a leper. Right before the eyes of the priests, leprosy clamped onto Uzziah’s forehead.
He was cast out, cut off from the house of the Lord, and from his office as king. He died a leper.
Reflect with me on our beginning scripture: “…as long as he (Uzziah) sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.”
What a lesson is here for us today. It is only through seeking God that we will ultimately prosper. The understanding that our own abilities and successes are nothing without God’s blessing is vital. We become helpless, cast out and demeaned if we dare reach in our hand where such is forbidden. Only when we seek God, only when we follow His law and His spirit will we truly prosper.
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