Highlights In Today's Reading:
Three good kings of Judah reign during this time. Talk about "be sure your sins will find you out." During the same time frame, three of Israel's seven evil kings are murdered. Pekah usurps the throne of Israel and reigns for 20 years (15:27).
Azariah, otherwise known as Uzziah, was a king who sought God (II Chronicles 26:5). He also was a friend of a godly prophet named Zechariah. He was marvellously helped (26:15) by God against the Philistines, the Arabians, and others.
It's amazing how a person can become so successful then somehow he forgets that it is God who causes him to prosper and he lets pride takes over. As long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper (II Chronicles 26:5). This reminds us also that God said: Them that honour Me I will honour (I Samuel 2:30). King Azariah had done more to restore lost territory and strengthen the prestige of Judah than any king since the kingdom divided. His great success corresponds with his two names: Azariah, meaning "Jehovah has helped" and Uzziah, meaning "My strength is Jehovah." Sadly, his great military success and popularity may have caused him to lose sight of the fact that, although he was a powerful king, he was merely a servant of God.
In later years, after becoming very successful, Azariah, like his father Amaziah (II Kings 14:10) became lifted up (II Chronicles 26:16). Azariah was not content with his kingly power and success but seemed to desire being first everywhere. Consequently, we see him invading the priestly office (26:16-19). None were allowed to sacrifice or to burn incense (26:16) or even to enter into the sanctuary but the priests the sons of Aaron (26:18). The king had his functions to rule, to judge, to decide on peace or war, to lead armies, and to direct the whole policy of the nation, but one thing he was not permitted to do was to usurp spiritual responsibilities in the Temple of God.
Azariah assumed the duties of a priest — a privilege which God had restricted to the Levitical priesthood (Numbers 3:10). Then he refused to yield to the high priest who urged him not to go into the Temple and perform ceremonies that only the Levites could do. And the Lord smote the king (Azariah), so that he was a leper unto the day of his death (II Kings 15:5). He became an outcast, lost his authority as king, and was even forced from his castle to live in an isolated house the rest of his days as an outcast where he was required by Law to shout: Unclean, unclean (Leviticus 13:45) if anyone came near him.
God clearly reminds us that pride goeth . . . before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Thought for Today:
Each part of the body of Christ is dependent upon every other part to survive and must function only in its design. A liver cannot be a leg.
When the Lord struck King Azariah with leprosy and thrust him out from being king (II Kings 15:5-7). This foreshadows the time when Christ shall reign upon the earth and all who ignore or refuse His merciful gift of salvation shall be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
14:10 lifted thee up =b> made you proud; 14:12 put to the worse =b> defeated; 14:25 sea of the plain =b> the Dead Sea; 15:5 a several house =b> a separated house; 15:20 exacted =b> assessed, taxed; 15:25 in his room =b> in his stead, place.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr & Mrs Robert C Zeller and Mr & Mrs W.C. Williams and in memory of World Evangelism; English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs Helen A. Porter; Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Corrine Frank • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Jim Ramstad (MN) and Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) • Country: Namibia (1.6 million) in southwest Africa • Major languages: Afrikaans and German • Religious freedom • 89% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other (Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i) • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that the Lord will enable you to comfort and encourage others (II Corinthians 1:3-4).
Optional Reading: Romans 9
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:7