But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the LORD his God by entering the sanctuary of the LORD’s Temple and personally burning incense on the altar. - 2 Chronicles 26:16
It’s not how a woman starts her Christian life that’s important; it’s how she finishes it. King Uzziah began well—even as his father Amaziah had done (2 Chronicles 26:4). But also like his father before him, Uzziah later turned away from following the Lord. Amaziah had not followed God wholeheartedly; Amaziah had even set up his own gods and presented sacrifices to them (2 Chronicles 25:14).
Uzziah should have been warned by his father’s example. Uzziah became very powerful, and his fame spread. Ultimately, this power and pride brought him down. Uzziah overstepped the spiritual boundaries laid down in the law when he burned incense on the altar—something only priests were allowed to do. So God’s judgment fell upon Uzziah, and he became a leper. He lived out the rest of his days isolated and excluded from the temple of the Lord. He who had begun so well ended horribly.
Not too many of us can handle power and success—even spiritual power and success. Sometimes we find ourselves in a prominent position in public affairs and begin to believe the flattery we receive! It appears that when Zechariah died, Uzziah stopped growing spiritually. He seems to have grown ignorant and arrogant about God’s word. May we take note and make sure we continue to seek the Lord and be instructed in his ways, even if power and fame come our way.
For Further Study: 2 Chronicles 26:1-23
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.