Uzziah: Transgression Against The Lord
Book of 2 Chronicles 26
When the word “transgression” is used in the Old Testament, it most always speaks of treachery, revolt, and rebellion.
It is sin in any case, but when it is specifically against the Lord or the Word of God, “it is terrible sin”.
God says that all evil men always seek transgression and open rebellion.
Pro 17:11 An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.
In our lesson today we will see where another King of Judah who was helped in every way by the Lord allowed his own self-pride to come between himself and the Lord and it cost him dearly.
The name Uzziah is a form of the name Azariah and we see both names for this king used in the Word of God.
Uzziah was the son of King Amaziah who we studied about recently.
In his younger years Uzziah was guided by the Prophet Zechariah and under Zechariah’s influence, Uzziah did what was right in the sight of God but never more than his own father Amaziah had done before him.
Uzziah prospered while he was seeking the Lord and in the end his prospering led to self-pride and we will see again that pride can change any man.
We will see that Uzziah even attempted to be King and High Priest but that position is reserved for Jesus Christ!
Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
Uzziah brought on his own downfall, just as Lucifer did!
Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Isa 14:15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Isa 14:16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
Isa 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
So let’s see how Uzziah failed as a King of Judah.
*****2Ch 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
2Ch 26:4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
2Ch 26:5 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.
After the assassination of his father Amaziah, Uzziah was immediately made King of Judah and he began by restoring the commerce of Judah.
It is possible the reason Uzziah had such a long reign was that while his father was in captivity in Samaria, he was made co-regent and ruled in his fathers place but he did reign for 52 years.
Uzziah also had a Jewish mother and in in his young years he was placed under the care of Zachariah and we can see that this is Zechariah the prophet because he had understanding in the visions of the Lord.
Uzziah was instructed in the Word of God.
Uzziah was taught the commandments of God.
Uzziah was taught the duties of King according to the Word of God.
The truth of Uzziah is that as long as he sought the will of the Lord, he was a successful King of Judah!
God made him to prosper.
Uzziah accomplished many necessary things for his nation but we see it was only by the “Grace” of God.
*****2Ch 26:6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
2Ch 26:7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
2Ch 26:8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
Uzziah immediately repaired the damage to Jerusalem brought on by the invasion of the army of the Northern Kingdom.
Uzziah not only restored the wall that was broken down but he installed towers on top of those walls.
Uzziah then brought the Philistines back under control.
Uzziah established fortresses throughout the land to hinder access by any invading army such as happened to his father Amaziah.
Uzziah brought all the borders of the Southern Kingdom under his direct control.
It seems that our own president does not think this is such a big deal but as national protection we need to control all our borders.
Open borders work only for honest people!
Uzziah was even able to control the Ammonites who then paid taxes to Uzziah for his protection.
We never hear of nations paying any tax for the protection that America offers to them. We only hear of America offering free protection and then paying those nations for being allowed to protect them.
Makes no sense at all!
These achievements made the name of Uzziah a king to be honored and feared throughout the known world of that day.
Even Egypt respected the strength of this king.
Uzziah built one the strongest and most well trained armies since the time of David and Solomon.
Uzziah also developed war machines and machines used in defense of his nation
Uzziah restored the Southern Kingdom to a prosperous place of commerce and restored the economy to the Southern Kingdom.
These are all things that a good leader can do who is following in the will of God!
It is obvious that when a good leader seeks the will of God and then follows up on that will, they can do great things for the people of any nation.
What is one of the most over looked Scriptures in the Bible that we read and then ignore?
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Add to that:
Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
When are doing things according to the will of God, He will then provide the things that we need to accomplish that will!
Psa 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
BUT, we soon see what happens when we take the credit for ourselves and forget it was God that provided all these things.
In our world today “pride” is seen only as a positive thing and it is true that we need a healthy self-esteem and a positive image of ourselves to be successful in today’s world.
If we stay focused on our weaknesses we will not accomplish very much and we tend to be this way as we get older.
We should take pride in the abilities God has given to each of us!
Pride becomes sin when we feel like we are better than others. When we use our abilities or our appearance to shame and humiliate others or to dominate or enslave others, it has become sin.
So let’s see Uzziah’s slide to sin.
*****2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Uzziah became so full of self-pride and self-exaltation, it brought his destruction!
When God has done great things in your life and then you take all the credit without giving God the glory you have committed a grievous sin that will bring the “judgment” of God!
Many national leaders are guilty of sexual immorality, or murder, or of oppressing their people, or of persecuting the people, and even the worship of idols but you will not find that Uzziah was guilty of any of these things.
The Scripture says it plainly, when God had made Uzziah a great king, his own heart was lifted up to his own destruction!
Uzziah then tried to make himself High Priest.
The truth of the Scriptures is that Uzziah knew this was a grievous sin because he had been trained in the Books of Moses which explained these things.
Num 18:1 And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
Num 18:2 And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.
Num 18:3 And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.
Num 18:4 And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.
Num 18:5 And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
Num 18:6 And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Num 18:7 Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest’s office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
Uzziah exalted himself to be the God appointed priest and he entered into the Temple to burn incense to the Lord.
Azariah was High Priests at that time and he caught Uzziah as he entered into the Temple.
*****2Ch 26:17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:
2Ch 26:18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.
Notice Azariah was not alone but there were 80 priests of the Lord with him.
Azariah was God’s appointed intercessor and no one approached God in that day without going through God’s intercessor, not even the King!
We also know that this position was eliminated on Mount Calvary by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mat 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
The part that an earthly priest played in the Old Testament was eliminated at the cross and we can now go directly into the throne room of God with our request.
It took a dying Savior to take away all things that block our access to the One True God, our Heavenly Father!
The truth even today is, that when we try to have our own way in this world, we are going against the Word of God.
Jesus Christ did not die on Mount Calvary just so we can have our own way!
God did not raise up King Uzziah to his position just so he could have his own way!
When the priest burned the incense, the priests were symbolizing the need for an intercessor to stand between the Lord and His people.
Today we have that Perfect Intercessor, our own Perfect Mediator.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
It was very important before the time of Christ, that the Books of Moses be followed to the letter in the acts of the priesthood.
It is just as important today that we allow the will of God to rule in our hearts!
Luk 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
King Uzziah was confronted by the priesthood to stop him from committing this terrible act.
When they ask him to leave the Temple, Uzziah became very angry and broke out in a verbal rage against God’s called men.
Up to this point in his life Uzziah had been successful in all that he had done.
The truth about prosperity is “that it is dangerous”!
Prosperity will seldom draw men to God, in fact is is just the opposite, as most will make themselves to be gods of their own realms.
Wealth can be a terrible affliction to the body and mind of any person!
Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
If Uzziah had left peaceably nothing else would have been done that day but he did not.
*****2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar
There will never be a time when we can approach God other then in a reverent fashion!
We simply will never be able to make demands of God!
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
It does not matter how rich or how powerful you are in this world, to go against the Word of God can bring your death.
Had Uzziah completed what he set out to do, he would have certainly died but he was then punished with the living death, leprosy.
Sin in high places must be rebuked and treated harshly!
Had this High Priest yielded to this king, he would have certainly been punished.
To be honest this is where the Church is failing today.
The world is always ready to try to tell us how to worship!
One of our presidential candidates has even said all Christians need to lay aside the Word of God and listen to what the government is saying and as Christians we cannot allow this to happen!
We are always being told what doctrines can be preached, what the duties of the church are, and what sins are to be rebuked and the Church is folding under this pressure through fear.
The world simply cannot dictate how we are to worship our God and we cannot approach God without going through the Lord Jesus Christ and that is just the facts!
Anything less than this is being lukewarm toward God!
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
God has already said that a lukewarm church and a lukewarm Christians makes Him sick!
There is another thing that I will mention.
When we were in the Book of Amos we read of an earthquake.
Amo 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
At the moment King Uzziah lifted that censer, God struck Uzziah with Leprosy and according to the history as written by Josephus, this is the exact time of that earthquake mentioned in the Book of Amos.
Amos was saying it was 2 years before Uzziah became a leper that he was called of God.
*****2Ch 26:20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.
SO, We see that sometimes God will bring “discipline” immediately for our sin!
There are many things that God just will not tolerate and this was one of those things.
Uzziah may have stood up the those priests but rage and threats do not work with God!
Uzziah had not transgressed against those priests, Uzziah had transgressed against the Word of God.
As those priests looked on, the leprosy first appeared on the forehead of the king.
Leprosy was a symbol of defilement and it did not matter if it costs the priests there job, they were required by the Word of God to remove this defilement from the Temple grounds.
Lev 22:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 22:2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they profane not my holy name in those things which they hallow unto me: I am the LORD.
Lev 22:3 Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD.
Lev 22:4 What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him;
Lev 22:5 Or whosoever toucheth any creeping thing, whereby he may be made unclean, or a man of whom he may take uncleanness, whatsoever uncleanness he hath;
Lev 22:6 The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water.
The truth is, King Uzziah could not retaliate against the priests because he knew this thing came from God.
AND, King Uzziah was forced to live in isolation the rest of his life.
Uzziah could no longer sit in public to judge his nation.
Uzziah could no longer worship in the Temple.
Uzziah had to put his son in charge of the government.
Uzziah could no longer live with his family.
Uzziah was an outcast not only from his own family but also the family of God!
*****2Ch 26:21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
A “several house” is what would be called today a hospital or an infirmary and Uzziah was separated from all others even in this place.
In that day leprosy was incurable and for the most part it remains incurable even today.
One could say, why was God so harsh and unforgiving.
One: Uzziah was King of Judah.
Two: Uzziah defied the Word of God, he had swore to uphold.
Three: the position of King-Priest was reserved for the Lord.
Zec 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
Zec 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
There was only one other in the Scriptures that was mentioned and we must notice his qualifications.
Heb 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
Heb 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
**Heb 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
This is a whole other lesson for some other time, but Melchisedec was a type of Christ, if not the person of Christ in the Old Testament.
*****2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
2Ch 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
In the Book of Isaiah we can find no record of the acts of Uzziah.
It is believed that it was the prophets that recorded the acts of the Kings in the 2 Books of the Kings and it is believed that Isaiah was that prophet in his day.
It is believed it was the priests that recorded the Chronicles of the Kings in the 2 Books of Chronicles and we can see how accurate both books are and how close they are in comparison. It is believed that Ezra wrote the Books of Chronicles.
Our lesson is the fact that pride and exalting ourselves instead of giving God the glory, can bring our downfall.
When we exalt ourselves we are saying that we are better than all others and that makes them lesser humans in our own eyes.
Pride says “I am the best”! More worthy of attention, more worthy of recognition, more worthy of honor, than all others.
BUT, Our skills are the gift of God.
Our talents are the gift of God.
AND, There are those who have been given great beauty but it to came from God.
None of these things should we glory over but we should give God the glory.
In fact not one blessing from God should ever be used to degrade others!
God says those with the most talent, beauty, and skills may lack in the most important thing.
Pro 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
And we know that wisdom comes only from the Lord.
It pays more to be wise than to be full of pride!
Pro 3:34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
Pro 3:35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
It is only those who are wise that will inherit the “Glory World”!