July 20, 2021
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 20 July 2021
According to 2 Chronicles 26, Uzziah did right in the sight of the Lord. He continued to seek God in the days of a prophet named Zechariah who is said to have had understanding through the vision of God. Uzziah prospered so long as he sought the Lord. He benefited greatly from the ministry of a prophet called Zechariah.
God helped him against his various opponents. As a result, his fame spread afar because he was marvelously helped, until he became strong. God greatly blessed Uzziah’s reign in his early years; it was a prosperous time in Israel; the enemies of Israel were repelled and defeated. The nation prospered materially, and the army was strong. If ever there was a man that had reason to walk faithfully with the Lord, it was Uzziah. God gave him victory over his enemies, he strengthened him, and brought him prosperity.
Verse 16 of 2 Chronicles 26 says, “But when he became strong his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God.” What a disappointing, discouraging note, yet not uncommon. God blesses and so the people stop obeying him. Somehow a self-confidence begins to invade and seize attentions and thoughts. When you are literally nothing and you have little or nothing, you quickly realize God is your only help, your only source of strength and enablement. Uzziah had a powerful army, the cities were fortified, and he had material wealth. He was quite a king and so he intruded into the office of the priesthood.
There in his pride, Uzziah thought I am so great and so important, I do not need a priest to act for me, I will do this on my own. Azariah the priest entered after him with eighty priests of the Lord (valiant men) which was a courageous act. There are kings in Israel’s history who slaughtered priests. These priests upheld Uzziah the king and said to him "It is not for you Uzziah to burn incense to the Lord but for the priest the sons of Aaron who are consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary for you have been unfaithful and will have no honor from the Lord God."
Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; he was ready to outpour his wrath on those priests. Who were they to oppose him, the king? While Uzziah was enraged, leprosy appeared on his forehead and everyone was aghast. God made Uzziah a leper for the remainder of his life. What a sad end for Uzziah. He followed the pattern of his father and of his grandfather. Both those kings started well. Neither his father nor grandfather finished well.
As long as he sought the Lord, Uzziah prospered. God helped him against his enemies hence his fame spread far for he was marvelously helped until he was strong. He continued to seek the Lord, continued to obey the word of the Lord brought to him by Zechariah the prophet and God greatly blessed him. Faithfulness brings blessing! Never be confused; blessings are from the Lord. Every good gift and every perfect act of giving comes from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow caused by turning. All blessings come from our God, and being faithful to him brings the greatest blessings.
Pride brings destruction! Uzziah is an example of that in 2 Chronicles 26. When he became strong, his heart was so proud he acted corruptly. Great blessing brings great danger. Be careful. Pride brings destruction.
In the annals of the kings of Israel and Judah, few who began well finished well. Something occurs to our spiritual sensitivity and we become oblivious to the fact that we are not finishing with the same passion, the same zeal that we had at one time. Very few who begin well also finish well. Let that be different for you.
Second Chronicles 26:16 says, “when Uzziah became strong , his heart was so proud.” Power and pride are distinguished! Jehoshaphat is an example of a king who became powerful, yet he did not become proud. Conversely, Uzziah’s power was manifested in sinful pride and it almost certainly developed once the prophet Zechariah died. His unfaithfulness was in relation to not hearing the Word of the Lord and thus wavering in his devotion.
The gospel is the only dynamic stated in Scripture to be synonymous with the power of God. America needs to experience that power today. Would you agree?
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