A Worse Fate than “No”

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 Chronicles 25-27; John 16

Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king, and he ruled for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, just as his father Amaziah had done…

16 But as soon as he became powerful, he grew so arrogant that he acted corruptly. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God by entering the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense upon the incense altar. 17 The priest Azariah, accompanied by eighty other of the Lord’s courageous priests, went in after him 18 and confronted King Uzziah.

“You have no right, Uzziah,” he said, “to burn incense to the Lord! That privilege belongs to the priests, Aaron’s descendants, who have been ordained to burn incense. Get out of this holy place because you have been unfaithful! The Lord God won’t honor you for this.”

19 Then Uzziah, who already had a censer in his hand ready to burn the incense, became angry. While he was fuming at the priests, skin disease[j] erupted on his forehead in the presence of the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests turned and saw the skin disease on his forehead, they rushed him out of there. Uzziah also was anxious to leave because the Lord had afflicted him. 21 King Uzziah had skin disease until the day he died. He lived in a separate house,[k] diseased in his skin, because he was barred from the Lord’s temple. His son Jotham supervised the palace administration and governed the people of the land. (2 Chronicles, 26:3-5, 16-21, Common English Bible).

It is safe to say, Uzziah started off as a good guy. “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” And, God blessed him for it. God gave him victories over his enemies but with each victory came more power. With each tribute paid to Uzziah, he became more arrogant. Eventually, he reached a point where he thought he could do anything he wanted to do.

That is when trouble almost always starts for us. The second we think we don’t need God and can go it on our own, it won’t be long before failure and worse is at our feet. If you will remember, back when we were reading the last half of Exodus and the Book of Leviticus, the Levites, the descendants of Aaron were given specific instructions about the handling of the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. There were specific areas of the tabernacle where only the priests were allowed to go. Because he was king, Uzziah thought he was above all that. When we start thinking we are above the instructions of God we are really in trouble.

When Uzziah became angry with the priests for their efforts to stop him, a skin disease (skin diseases were just about the most feared of all diseases in the Biblical era) broke out. He lived out the rest of his life fighting these diseases, isolated and exiled in a house by himself, away from family, friends, his people, and it would appear, away from God.

It would seem, there are worse fates than hearing God say “No.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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