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King Uzziah. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success. 2 Chronicles 26
King Uzziah
"As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success"
2 Chronicles 26

This morning we are going to take a look at a King named Uzziah. Of the Kings who came after David, he is one of the 8 of whom the Bible says; "He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD".

-Uzziah became king at age 16- his father having been assassinated by some his own officials
-When Uzziah came to power Jerusalem and Judah was in disarray. A big section of the wall of the city had been destroyed, the temple and palace had been emptied of their treasures, immense military defeats were still fresh in the minds of the people, some of the inhabitants of Judah had been taken into captivity.
-Of all the Kings of Israel and Judah, Uzziah reigned the longest -52 years
-Uzziah's name meant "My power is Yahweh". He also went by another name "Azariah" which means "God has helped"
-Because of his faithfulness to God, God enlarged his territory so much that for Judah- it was like a second golden age in terms of power, wealth, influence in the world, standing
-Uzziah was an incredibly bright guy, for our text tells us of a number of military inventions that he came up with (inventions that 100's of years later were copied by the Romans and Greeks)
-Uzziah was a very responsible king-- fortifying the land, caring for his people, and fully equipping his army
-Uzziah was not a man who delighted in war or money, rather, he delighted in the land. Our text tells us in v.10 that he loved the soil. Vineyards, livestock, vegetables, whatever it was, tending the ground and watching things grow was his thing. Such reminds us of Noah who in Genesis 9:20 is called "a man of the soil"- it also serves as a good little reminder to us to look after the planet.

As great a King as Uzziah was, he wasn't perfect. Late in life -and we've heard this before- his devotion to the Lord weakened - and he began to struggle with the sin of PRIDE.

Irony- rather than depending on the power of God, he now depending on his wealth and 'power'

As it regards the life of Uzziah, there is lots for us to learn (from the good and the bad), so let's dig into our text. READ 2 Chronicles 26.

AS READ NOTE THE TWO KEY VERSES

2 Chronicles 26:5 "As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success."

2 Chronicles 26:16 "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall

LESSONS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE TEXT

1. "He/She died what was right in the eyes of the LORD"- that's what we need to want to be said about us v.4

God is our judge. Before the seat of Christ we must all appear. While there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, there will be still rewards that he hands out to us for faithfulness and service- and these are the words that we want to hear "Well done good and faithful servant"

To receive the commendation of God requires a commitment from us to follow Christ and to pursue holiness.

2. The key to true success- Seek first the Kingdom of God.v.5

Jesus to his disciples- while calling them to leave all and follow him- "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food, shelter, clothing) shall be added to you" Matthew 6:33

Read again v.5 "As long as he the sought the Lord, God gave him success". THIS IS A MASSIVE VERSE! One we all should memorize

This needs to be burned into our minds!

-Obedience to God brings BLESSING
-God is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
-To receive the blessings, power, help, guidance, and wisdom of God-- it is his face we must seek. Our hearts must be set upon Him

For his devotion, Uzziah and the people were greatly blessed-- as noted, it was a second golden age. (territory enlarged, long standing enemies subjugated, peace)


MAIN POINT: In all things we must be found depending on God. He is our only hope. Jesus is the only Savior.

The more dependent we are on God- the more we look to Him, the more we rely on Him, the more we cast ourselves upon Him, the better things go-- because God has a way of coming through.

We are not to depend upon our own strength and resources. We are to depend upon God.

3. We all need someone in our lives who is strong in Christ and who can help spur us on in love, devotion to Christ, and good works v.5

NOTE v.5a "He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God"

In the Bible there are a number of Zechariah's-- a few short years before a Zechariah who was a priest had been murdered by one of the kings-- but it's not this guy. The fact is, nothing else is known about him except that he had a preservative role in the life of Uzziah.

We need someone like this in our life-- who cares about us, who teaches us in God's ways, who spurs us on to holy living and in following Jesus.

Not only do we need someone like this in our lives, we need to be this person in someone else' life.*** And rather than just think this is a nice idea-- we need to start!

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24


4. Pride is a sin we must always be on guard against

In Proverbs 16:18 it says; "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

In 2 Chronicles 15:15b-16a it says of Uzziah "His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall"

These are sad and sobering words that serve as a signpost to every one us that we must be vigilant and on guard against pride.

Our tendency is to trust ourselves and our abilities. When there is money in the bank, when we are healthy, when all around seems secure, when everything is going good, it's so easy to slip, to think that somehow we are the reason for it.

Our prayer ought always to be "Lord, I want to humble. I know everything I have comes from you. Help me to be faithful. Help me to be generous. Help me to be others focused. Help me to never think that I'm above someone or above some task"


A good verse: "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10

5. God, according to His love, mercy, and grace, has made a way for us to be right with Him- thru faith in Jesus Christ. We are not to come up with our own ways. v.16ff

Jesus is the way to be right with the Father. Salvation is found in no one else. There are not many ways to be right with God-- there is one way-- by faith in Jesus Christ, who said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me" John 14:6

Uzziah's sin of trying to approach God on his terms is an often repeated mistake v.16ff

When we read of Uzziah marching into the Temple to burn incense before the Lord, for those of us who have been digging our way through God's Word for a while, 2 passages will come to mind.

a. Numbers 3:1-4. Herein Aarons sons are said to have died before the LORD when they made an offering with unauthorized fire in the Desert of Sinai
b. Numbers 16 details some Levites name Korath, Dathan, and Abiram leading a rebellion against Moses and Aaron- upset that God had put them in charge, wanting power for themselves. Before God these men, totalling 250, appeared before God with their censors and then as a sign of judgment God fire from the LORD came and consumed them all. By God's command the censers were gathered and hammered into sheets to overlay the altar as a forever reminder that God is holy and that one must approach Him in the way that He prescribes.

So, here we have Uzziah coming into the Temple thinking that he was a big man who could flaunt God's laws and burn incense on the altar of the Lord-- even though only the priestly descendants of Levi were authorized too.

For his sin, God struck Uzziah with leprosy with the result that he could never enter the Temple again and in death he was not permitted to be buried with the other Kings.

THE WORD OF GOD IS CLEAR- there is only one way to be saved from our sin and the judgment to come-- faith in Jesus Christ.

ANOTHER THING---UZZIAH'S sin brings up The whole idea of "finishing well" is before us once again.

Remember when we checked in on the life of Asa-- another of the good guys in Israel's history. He didn't finish well either.

I have a quote from Charles Spurgeon on this matter that I'd like to share (was a famous English pastor who God used mightily)

"I have lived long enough to observe that the greatest faults that are ever committed by professedly Christian men are not committed by young people. Most painful is it, to me to remember that the worst cases of backsliding and apostasy that I have ever seen, in this church, have been by old men and middle-aged men, - not by young people; for, somehow or other, the young people, if they are truly taught of God, know their weakness, and so they cry to God for help; but it often happens that more experienced people begin to think that they are not likely to fall into the faults and follies of the young; and I care not how old a man may be - even if seven centuries had passed over his head:, - if he began to trust in himself, he would be a fool, and soon he would have a grievous fall."

IN VIEW OF GOD'S MERCY.....

If you are not right with God what's hindering you from coming into right relationship with Him? Turn to God while you can. Escape the judgment to come. Experience the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and peace with God.

CONCLUSION

As we have been going our way through Chronicles, I hope that you've been encouraged and not discouraged- particularly as it comes to our character studies.

I wish that, particularly as we've looked at the good guys, that there was nothing bad to say about them- but that's not real life. Real life is that we are all sinners in need of Jesus as our Savior and the amazing grace and love of God is this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

CLOSING SONG-- I lift my eyes up

Benediction


"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24