TEXTS AND APPLICATION: These chapters cover the reign of Uzziah (also known as Azariah in 2 Kgs. 15). In this case, simply allowing the biblical text to speak for itself speaks volumes to people (like me) who tend to be self-dependent and strong:
2 Kgs. 15:3 Azariah did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Amaziah had done.
2 Chron. 26:4-5 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
2 Chron. 26:8 The Ammonites gave Uzziah tribute money, and his fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for God made him very powerful.
2 Chron. 26:15 So his fame spread even to distant places, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong.
2 Chron. 26:16 But when he became strong, he grew arrogant and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the Lord his God by going into the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar.
2 Chron. 26:21 So King Uzziah was diseased to the time of his death. He lived in quarantine with a serious skin disease and was excluded from access to the Lord’s temple . . .
He started so well, but he allowed his strength — a strength God had given him — to be his downfall. Sometimes, we take the blessings of God (e.g., our talents, our abilities, our training) and allow them to become the “god” that leads us. I suspect, too, that we don’t recognize this problem has developed until it’s already happened. Uzziah’s story is a dramatic warning to be aware of this dangerous tendency.
PRAYER: Please pray that I will never be too strong.
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 1-4