Marvelously Helped

from Lynda Lindsey

And he (Uzziah, King of Judah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. II Chronicles 26:4-5

And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. II Chronicles 26:15(b)-16

But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, 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… Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.” Then Uzziah was angry. II Chronicles 26:17-19(a)

Uzziah, only sixteen years old when he became Judah’s king, wisely set himself to seek God and to do what was right in God’s eyes. Uzziah, through instruction from a  spiritual mentor, learned to fear the Lord; as long as Uzziah set himself to seek God and God’s ways, God marvelously helped Uzziah and prospered his reign. Uzziah commanded a large, powerful army, invented innovative war machines, and became strong and famous for his military prowess. Sadly, along with strength and fame, Uzziah became prideful and presumptuous and didn’t remain faithful to the Lord.

Uzziah allowed his arrogance to balloon and ultimately set himself up for destruction by entering the temple to burn incense on the Lord’s altar, an action forbidden to anyone except God’s priests. Even then God graciously provided an opportunity for Uzziah to turn back from sin. Azariah, the priest, accompanied by eighty other courageous priests, withstood the king’s rebellious behavior and offered good advice: go out, leave the sanctuary and flee the wrong your are contemplating, for the Lord God will not honor this disobedience. Sadly, Uzziah spurned the opportunity.

Uzziah desired something forbidden, something reserved for others, yet when confronted with his sin and given opportunity to repent, Uzziah became angry, not at his own audacity, but at the means of his own salvation. God’s discipline resulted in Uzziah’s exclusion from his house, from God’s house, and from his kingdom duties. Uzziah’s sin is only too familiar. We seek something God has forbidden and instead of gratefully accepting God’s provision for our sin, we become angry at God. God marvelously sends help our way; accept Him! Jesus stands and knocks; let Him in!