KEYS to SUCCESS and CAUSE of FAILURE: "Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper." (2 Chron 26:3-5) "But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense." (2 Chron 26:16)
Uzziah (also called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21) was appointed to be the king of Judah by the people through popular demand in place of his father Amaziah (2 Chron 26:1). As we read the early part of his rule in 2 Chron 26:1-15, there are some definite keys to success in Uzziah’s life:
- Uzziah’s father (Amaziah) had set a good example for him to follow (v. 4)
- A wise and pious counselor called Zechariah, who was skilled in understanding the meaning and lessons of the ancient prophecies, instructed Uzziah (v. 5)
- Uzziah had a good army and able generals to assist him in battle (vv. 11-15)
- Last, but not the least, Uzziah sought the Lord. As long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper (v. 5). His fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong (v. 15b).
However, when Uzziah became strong, he became proud that caused a downward slide in his life. It is written in 2 Chron 26:16 that his heart was lifted up to his destruction. Due to his pride, he thought of himself as invincible and above God’s law. He entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar without approval from God. Uzziah fell from God’s favor and God punished him with leprosy. Uzziah was a leper until he died as he lived in isolation being cut off from the house of God (v. 21). We need to understand that pride causes us to set ourselves as gods. Because of pride, we sin without any regard to God’s standard. The great Evangelist D. L. Moody has once said: “When I think I have become strong and I have a good deal of strength – my downfall has already commenced”.
Let us learn the keys of success and the cause of failure from the life of King Uzziah, and seek the face of God always! Remember the following: "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way." (Prov 8:13)