Uzziah has been a good and godly king. He has been blessed by the Lord in many ways. And he has become prideful. His arrogance costs him everything!
God blessed the people of Judah under the rule of Uzziah. They had victory over their enemies. They were able to build up their defenses. Their fields and herds abounded with plenty. And Uzziah’s name became revered throughout the nations.
Now we come to the “but” statement that I spoke of last time. “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction” (verse 16a). This wasn’t a small amount of pride that one has because of their physical features or accomplishments. It was a pride that went so deep that he esteemed himself above ALL others. He was supreme in his own mind. He could do no wrong. He had a right to do ANYTHING he pleased. And not even God could put limits on him. Or so he believed.
It is sad to say that there are many in our world today who carry this same sense of inflated ego. They believe they are above the laws of man or even God. More often than not, their pride is tied to their pocketbook. They have found that they can buy people. And because of this, their prideful impression of themselves is reinforced. They will learn at one time or another that they are just as deceived as Uzziah was.
Uzziah’s sin was three fold. First was his growing pride. He credited himself with the accomplishments of his kingdom. HE made them prosperous. HE protected them in battle. HE was their king and had gained the respect of every nation. HE neglected Who REALLY did these things; God. He usurped God’s glory.
Second, Uzziah believed himself to be above the Laws of God. Surely God didn’t expect him to humble himself before the priests and ask them to intercede on his behalf. Surely God would be HONORED to receive recognition directly from Uzziah’s own hands. After all, there were no greater hands among the nations than his own! But God had set up Laws that applied to ALL people and Uzziah was NOT exempt.
And third, Uzziah became angry when corrected. How dare ANYONE tell him he couldn’t do as he pleased! These men were his servants, NOT his masters. He had no master for he was King Uzziah. He disregarded God’s intervention. God’s use of the hands of man does not make His interventions any less important or urgent.
Only after all three phases of Uzziah’s sin did he pass beyond the point of no return. If he would have listened to the 70 priests who confronted him that day he probably would have been spared. If he had not chosen to exalt himself above the priests, and God’s law, he would have been safe. If he had not seen all the work of God as from his own hand he would have been acceptable. But Uzziah took ALL three steps and ran smack into his own demise.
Uzziah ran face first into God’s boundaries. It’s funny that it was his forehead where leprosy broke out as this would be the exact place where one would hit when running into a wall. Uzziah ran face first into God’s holiness and he would wear the mark of that contact for the rest of his life.
God could have let Uzziah repent and remove the mark, but He didn’t. Uzziah’s sin was more than skin deep. It filled his heart. God left him with a visible reminder of that sin. Even if Uzziah eventually repented he would have a permanent reminder that would keep him from making the same mistakes again.
I wonder what it will take for those of today that are filled with the same sins as Uzziah to recognize their true state. I guarantee there will be a time that they too will run up against God’s standards. It may not happen in this lifetime for some but it WILL happen. They will wear the mark of their confrontation for eternity. I pray that EACH person with this sin will encounter God’s limits in this life so that they will have time to repent. If they continue into death without this unmistakable confrontation they will be in for a rude awakening that will determine their future throughout eternity.
Father God, PLEASE keep me from following in Uzziah’s footsteps. I know I have come on the heels of part one more times than I should. THANK YOU for Your forgiveness each of those times. I PRAY I have never bumped up against part two. I don’t believe I have but only You really know my heart. I NEVER EVER want to even step close to part three! Keep my heart humble and pure Father. Help me honestly examine it and flee from the sin of pride. All I am and all I have I give YOU the glory for. From the traits and talents You sowed into my life I give You praise and glory.
I pray that Uzziah was able to receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. I have little doubt that he repented. I pray he did. My heart breaks to think he lost You forever.