This morning we talked about how Uzziah was helped by God. He reigned 52 years as king of Judah. For a good part he sought the Lord and kept his heart humble. He depended on God to help him. Something happened.
II Chronicles 26:15 …for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. 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. 17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: 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. 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.
This is what happens when a person forgets his helper. At 16 years old he knew he needed God’s help as he became king. The Bible tells us over and over how God helped him. He gave him victory over enemies. He blessed the land. It came about because Uzziah trusted God. The Lord helped him and he gave God the credit. He was marvellously helped.
Troubles and trials come. The lean times teach us our help comes from God. The book of Hebrews says we can boldly say the Lord is our helper and we need not fear. Year after year Uzziah said God was his helper. He looked ahead to the needs for tomorrow and farmed the land. He didn’t want Israel to go without. He prospered and said that God was his helper.
In our greatest prosperity Satan tempts us to lift ourselves up. Our nation has prospered and is so ungrateful. Now is the time we need to be thankful; don’t wait until we’re down and out. Things were good. God prospered Uzziah and he made a fatal mistake. He went from being humble to lifting himself up. All his life he looked to God but then he began to think he could help himself. We need God just as much in good times as we do in bad.
How could Uzziah make such a mistake? It corrupted his thinking. He knew that the priests were to burn the incense. He thought it would be okay to get a censor and burn it on his own. That was the mistake. He didn’t need the priests. He thought God would accept him. We are never to the point we can do our own thing. He was king and thought he could what he wanted. God was on his side. Don’t think that way. We are on God’s side. Who are we to think God submits to us? Uzziah thought he was the exception. We accept God’s way or reject it. The priests were set apart by God’s divine order. They warned Uzziah not to do it. It was not his place. He got mad. He thought he could do it for God. We don’t design the way we serve God. He sets the way.
When Uzziah marched up to the altar and started to proceed, leprosy rose up in his head. There was no choice but to put him out of the temple. He lifted up his heart deciding he didn’t need God. He never was able to go to the temple again nor to his throne. Verse 21 says 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.
Uzziah was in a home for isolation, sort of like an extended care facility. No doubt he asked God to take it away so he could go home and go to the temple. He had rejected God’s help. God said no. If something like this can happen to Uzziah it can happen to any of us. The worst thing we can ever do is forget who our helper is. Except we humble ourselves as little children we’ll not see heaven.
Don’t make the mistake Uzziah made. Look at this before and after. What made the difference? The help of God. May God help us all not to be deceived like Uzziah was. He was foolish. Let’s do our best to honor God. We need him. Pray not to be a casualty. Always depend on God for he alone is our helper.