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Chapter 26 we find the beginning of the reign of Uzziah. Now he was only sixteen years old when he began to reign and he had one of the longest reigns outside of Manasseh, the longest reign of any king in Israel. He reigned for some fifty-one years. Uzziah was a good king. Uzziah was a popular king. Uzziah became a powerful king.
He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah. He reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. He did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper ( 2 Chronicles 26:2-5 ).
Very interesting scripture. "As long as he sought the Lord." As long as you put God first in your life. Jesus said that you should not be worried about what you're going to eat, what you're going to drink, what you're going to wear. For after these things do the pagans worry. But "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you" ( Matthew 6:33 ). As long as he sought the Lord, as long as he put God first, God made his ways to prosper.
We need to put God first in our lives. "As long as he sought the Lord," very important scripture.
So he went forth and he warred against the Philistines, he broke down the wall of Gath, and Jabneh, and Ashdod, and he built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. And God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabians, and the Mehunims. And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly. He built towers for defense there in Jerusalem and at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and he fortified them. And he built towers in the desert, he dug many wells: for he had a lot of cattle ( 2 Chronicles 26:6-10 ),
And he had a lot of vineyards and all. There was just general prosperity under Uzziah. He had a host of fighting men that went out to war by bands. And there were 2,600 captains over them.
He made in Jerusalem weapons of war, engines of war that were invented by cunning men, that they would put them on the towers to hurl stones and to shoot arrows. And his name spread far abroad ( 2 Chronicles 26:15 );
So he became a powerful king, a powerful ruler. The kingdom was strengthened under him.
But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD, for he went into the temple to burn incense at the altar of incense ( 2 Chronicles 26:16 ).
Now, this was the duty that was to be exclusively the priest's. As the king he had no business intruding into the temple to offer incense. It was a job only for the priests. And so Azariah the priest with another eighty priests who were all valiant men came in and challenged him. As he was swinging the incense there before the altar of incense, they challenged him. They said, "Get out of here. You have no business being in here." And he became angry with them and turned against them. But as he did, leprosy broke out on his forehead. And so the priests grabbed him and thrust him out physically because of the leprosy. And he became a leper. He had to dwell outside until the day of his death. And his son took over as the king.
Now Uzziah was a good king, for the most part. It was in the time of his strength that he fell. But because of all that he had done, he was a popular king, the nation prospered under his reign, and his name spread abroad throughout all of the land. And twice it talks about, in verse 2 Chronicles 26:15 , "And his name spread far abroad for he was marvelously helped and he was strong." And in verse 2 Chronicles 26:8 , "And his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt." He was a king that the people had great confidence in, because as long as he was on the throne, because he was a very cunning man, a very skillful man, he had built up all of these defenses, they had developed all of these weapons of war. They had invented many excellent weapons for battle. And the people felt a security. Things prospered under his reign. His name was spread abroad so that people were looking at him. Confidence was in him.
And I point that out because in the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and Isaiah the prophet lived at this time. He began his prophesying during the time or shortly after the death of Uzziah. So we are now coming historically into the period of the prophecy of Isaiah the prophet. And in the sixth chapter of Isaiah, he makes this interesting statement concerning Uzziah: "In the year king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on the throne, high and lifted up, and His train did fill the temple" ( Isaiah 6:1 ).
Up until that time, Isaiah's eyes were upon Uzziah, just like everybody else. He was captivated by the abilities of this man. Uzziah was sort of the hero for all of the people. And God had to move Uzziah out of the way in order that Isaiah might see the Lord.
It's terrible when a man hides our vision of God. Even though he is good, even though he has done a lot of good, we must not get our eyes upon men. Now at the time of his death there was a great despair. "Oh, Uzziah is dead. What are we going to do? We've prospered now for fifty years. The kingdom is strong and powerful. What are we going to do? The throne is empty of this popular, powerful king. What are we going to do? Uzziah is dead."
But God gave to Isaiah a vision of the throne. But God was sitting upon it. Behind the scenes, God reigns. "I saw the Lord high and lifted up sitting on the throne, and His train, His glory did fill the temple." So the death of Uzziah and his son Jotham who began to reign in his stead.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 26". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter