Scripture for today: 2 Chronicles 26:16-23.
Uzziah came onto the scene after his father, Amaziah, was defeated in battle by Jehoash king of Israel. This conflict brought catastrophic destruction to the southern kingdom. Uzziah saw firsthand the terrible consequences that pride brought into his father’s life. Unfortunately, as the years went by Uzziah would forget this important lesson.
As king, Uzziah experienced much success. Under his leadership, the nation’s boundaries and trade routes were restored. The economy boomed and the military was strengthened. Regrettably, all of these successes brought pride into the life of Uzziah. In his pride, Uzziah stepped across a forbidden line and forfeited the honor that could have been his. Here is how the Bible describes what Uzziah did.
“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” (2 Chronicles 26:16). According to the law of Moses, only the high priest could perform this function in the temple. So, when Uzziah entered the temple, he was immediately confronted by the high priest along with 80 other priests.
Uzziah responded with anger but before he uttered a word leprosy broke out on his forehead and the priests quickly ushered him out of the temple. Uzziah would spend the last ten years of his life living as a leper in isolation. Uzziah wrongfully thought that he was above God’s law.
Is there any area of your life that you think you are above the rules? Do you think you can do what others cannot and get away with it? Have the moral and ethical boundaries in your life started to become blurry?
This devotion is based on Marty McLain’s book “The Crown has Fallen: A Study of the Kings of Judah.”