Recently I have had a story from 2 Chronicles 26:15-27:2 stuck in my mind. Chapter 26 has been talking about the success of King Uzziah and this portion begins by saying, “for he was marvelously helped until he was strong” (v. 15). Did you catch that? He was marvelously helped (by God) until he was strong. Then the story continues, “But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God” (v. 16). Wow! Here is a good king, who did right in the sight of God (v. 4), who sought the Lord (v. 5), but when he became “successful” he stopped relying on God’s strength and began to rely on his own. Then suddenly you find him doing what he would have never done–He enters the temple to burn incense to the Lord, something that only the priests were allowed to do. The priests resist him, their earthly king, and he burns with anger. Then…boom! A spot of leprosy breaks out on his forehead. The priests “hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the Lord had smitten him. And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death…” (vv. 20-21).
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