SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
2 Chronicles 26:1-23
26:1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in his father Amaziah’s place. 2 Uzziah built up Elat and restored it to Judah after King Amaziah had passed away.
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah, who was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He followed God during the lifetime of Zechariah, who taught him how to honor God. As long as he followed the Lord, God caused him to succeed.
6 Uzziah attacked the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. He built cities in the region of Ashdod and throughout Philistine territory. 7 God helped him in his campaigns against the Philistines, the Arabs living in Gur Baal, and the Meunites. 8 The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame reached the border of Egypt, for he grew in power.
9 Uzziah built and fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, Valley Gate, and at the Angle. 10 He built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, for he owned many herds in the foothills and on the plain. He had workers in the fields and vineyards in the hills and in Carmel, for he loved agriculture.
11 Uzziah had an army of skilled warriors trained for battle. They were organized by divisions according to the muster rolls made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer under the authority of Hananiah, a royal official. 12 The total number of family leaders who led warriors was 2,600. 13 They commanded an army of 307,500 skilled and able warriors who were ready to defend the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah supplied shields, spears, helmets, breastplates, bows, and slingstones for the entire army. 15 In Jerusalem he made war machines carefully designed to shoot arrows and large stones from the towers and corners of the walls. He became very famous, for he received tremendous support and became powerful.
16 But once he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. He disobeyed the Lord his God. He entered the Lord’s temple to offer incense on the incense altar. 17 Azariah the priest and eighty other brave priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to offer incense to the Lord. That is the responsibility of the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have disobeyed and the Lord God will not honor you!” 19 Uzziah, who had an incense censer in his hand, became angry. While he was ranting and raving at the priests, a skin disease appeared on his forehead right there in front of the priests in the Lord’s temple near the incense altar. 20 When Azariah the high priest and the other priests looked at him, there was a skin disease on his forehead. They hurried him out of there; even the king himself wanted to leave quickly because the Lord had afflicted him. 21 King Uzziah suffered from a skin disease until the day he died. He lived in separate quarters, afflicted by a skin disease and banned from the Lord’s temple. His son Jotham was in charge of the palace and ruled over the people of the land.
22 The rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from start to finish, were recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah passed away and was buried near his ancestors in a cemetery belonging to the kings. (This was because he had a skin disease.) His son Jotham replaced him as king.