Uzziah the Splendid (but Flawed)

Michael Wilcock

READ : 2 Kings 15:1-7
2 Chron. 26:1-9, 15-21

The Lord touched the king. (v. 5)

Back from the north to Jeroboam II’s contemporary in the south, Azariah, who enjoyed a long and prosperous reign once his father Amaziah had come to his inglorious end.

But oh, the things that 2 Kings doesn’t tell us! We have to go to 2 Chronicles 26 to find his more distinctive name, Uzziah, and with it a long catalog of his achievements. He inherited David’s military genius, fortifying Judah and mobilizing armies that finally ended the Philistine menace. He had Solomon’s interest in the arts of peace and the world of nature; farms and vineyards all over the country owed much to his encouragement. The “Uzz-” part of one of his names means “help,” and the “Azar-” part of the other means “strong”; and, says Chronicles, “his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction” (vv. 15-16).

And that is where Kings comes in. Of all this long and splendid reign, it highlights just one event (Chronicles has the details)—one sin and its consequences, a sin of Uzziah’s mature years, and how it ended his usefulness in Yahweh’s service. The Lord who had repeatedly touched his life with blessing now touched him in a different, and tragic, way.

PRAYER

We remember your warning, Lord—“Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).