Original Entry Date 12/14/2012: (revised 3/30/2021): My original entry was rather short and as I read I, of course realized that some background would be needed.
We will be reading about King Uzziah who was king of Judah at the time. He sought to obey God and he prospered greatly because it:
2 Chronicles 26:3-5 EXP:
“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he ·ruled [reigned] fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah, and she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what ·the Lord said was right [Lwas pleasing/proper in the eyes/sight of the Lord], just as his father Amaziah had done [ in the beginning]. 5 Uzziah ·obeyed [sought] God while Zechariah was alive, because he taught Uzziah how to ·respect and obey [fear] God. And as long as Uzziah ·obeyed [sought] the Lord, God ·gave him success [made him prosper].”
His success was due to his obedience and desire for the Lord’s will. The Lord blessed him in all that he did just as God blesses us still to this day when we are obedient to His Word.
2 Chronicles 26:6-15 NKJV:
6 Now he went out and made war against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities around Ashdod and among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and against the Meunites. 8 Also the Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah. His fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong.
9 And Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the corner buttress of the wall; then he fortified them. 10 Also he built towers in the desert. He dug many wells, for he had much livestock, both in the lowlands and in the plains; he also had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for he loved the soil.
11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men who went out to war by companies, according to the number on their roll as prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. 12 The total number of chief officers of the mighty men of valor was two thousand six hundred. 13 And under their authority was an army of three hundred and seven thousand five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. 14 Then Uzziah prepared for them, for the entire army, shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings to cast stones. 15 And he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong.
King Uzziah was definitely, as we call, living it up with all that favor God was bestowing upon his life. The unfortunate thing is that when we are living in such success we can forget that God is the true source of all of it and we may give ourselves the credit. This is exactly what happened with King Uzzia as his heart filled with deceitful pride.
2 Chronicles 26:16-18 NKJV:
16 But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the Lord—valiant men. 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. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.”
Burning of incense symblizes prayer. Verse 18 represents how important it is to the Lord that we come to Him in prayer with a clean heart; we are to empty ourselves of our own pride and come to Him consecrated and holy. I hear God say, “Empty yourself before me and I will fill you.”
God’s blessings and all the fame has filled Uzziah’s heart with pride and it literally goes to his head.
2 Chronicles 26:19-20 NKJV:
19 Then Uzziah became furious; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense. And while he was angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the incense altar. 20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and there, on his forehead, he was leprous; so they thrust him out of that place. Indeed he also hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him.
Leprosy (a very contagious skin disease) symbolizes sin; so we can think of it as a disease of the flesh that spreads quickly just like sin. In verse 19 it says that leprosy broke out on his forehead OR even better is how the KJV version says it ROSE UP: ….while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests… In his heart, pride deceivingly lifted his heart up, infecting his mind. This is represented by the leprosy breaking out upon his forehead (interesting note on this is that it didn’t rise up to his forehead until he began to rage against the priests, God’s Holy People). The forehead is a symbol of the mind; spiritual understanding. The heart and mind are connected both signifying our inner being; if one is infected the other will be shortly after if we don’t bring our tresspasses to the Lord with a humble heart.
Even that small root of bitterness that we allow to entertain our minds will then take root in our hearts and becomes a more difficult task to remove.
King Uzziah didn’t have a good time after that incident to tell you the truth. We, though, have to keep in the faith of God’s transformation process; that our faith in Christ Jesus will bring restoration to our hearts, minds and overall lives.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 GNT:
.26 I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart. 27 I will put my spirit in you and will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you.