II Chronicles 26

The world’s smiles are the devil’s darts and prosperity ruin as many as adversity. It is dangerous to be strong except in the Lord and the power of His might.

1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.

2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.

3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.

5 And 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 to prosper.

6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.

7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.

8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.

9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.

10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.

11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.

12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.

13 And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.

14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.

15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.

16 ¶ But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men:

18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God.

19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar.

20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.

21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.

22 ¶ Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.

23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 26:1-15 – God Made Him to Prosper

   The reign of Uzziah was, to all appearance, extremely prosperous; but his personal character deteriorated, as though it could not bear an unbroken succession of prosperity. Proofs of his genius for empire are furnished by his successful wars, II Chronicles 26:6-7, his widespread fame, II Chronicles 26:8, his buildings and husbandry, II Chronicles 26:9-10, and his armies and engines of war, II Chronicles 26:11, 15. In all these “he was marvelously helped.” How many can bear the same glad witness concerning God’s dealings with them! The best preventive of pride is to recognize all blessing as coming from the marvelous help of God.
   When we review our earlier life and think of the position to which God has raised us, can we do other than cry, “Marvelous! Marvelous!” We cannot understand why God has so signally favored us, but we are persuaded that only by His grace we are as we are. Let us not forget that we are made strong in order to help the weak. Whatever we have must be viewed as a precious talent for helping forward the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus. The secret of prosperity is given in Psalm 1:3. —Through the Bible Day by Day

II Chronicles 26:15-16—He was marvellously helped, till he was strong.

   Great and marvellous are Thy works, O God; that our soul knoweth quite well. Thou hast showed marvellous loving-kindness. We must sing to Thee; for Thou hast done marvellous things. It is marvellous that Thou shouldst have set Thy love upon us; that Thou shouldst have watched over our interests with unwearied care; that our sins, or unbelief, or declensions, have never diverted Thy love from us. “Marvellous” is the only word we can use, as we think of the condescension of the well-beloved Son to the manger-bed; of the agony and bloody-sweat; of the cross and passion—and all for us who were His enemies. But it is most marvellous of all that Thou hast made us children, heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ. To think that we shall shine as the sun of Thy kingdom, that we are to sit upon His throne, and be included in that circle of love and life of which the throne of God and the Lamb is the center! Surely the marvels of Thy grace will only seem the greater when eternity with its boundless ages gives us time to explore them.
   The danger, however, is that we should become strong in our own conceit, and credit ourselves with the position which is due to the grace of God alone. Oh for the truly humble spirit of the little child, that we may never vaunt our selves! The laden ship sinks in the water; the fruit-burdened bough stoops to the ground; the truest scientist is the humblest disciple. Oh to be submerged and abashed for the marvellous help of God!
   God cannot trust some of us with prosperity and success, because our nature could not stand them. We must tug at the oar, instead of spreading the sail, because we have not enough ballast. —Our Daily Homily

2 Chronicles 26:16-23 – The Penalty of Pride

   The offices of priest and king were rigorously kept apart throughout the history of Israel. Melchizedek’s dual office is typical of the priestly reign of Christ, and had no counterpart in the Mosaic and Levitical ritual. Zechariah’s prediction indicated an absolutely new era, Zechariah 6:12-13. The rash act of Uzziah was resisted by the priests, and the issue was decided by the terrible brand of leprosy which appeared suddenly upon his forehead. As the result of his attempt to flout the solemn sanctions of divine origin and authority, he lost even the religious privileges which he had enjoyed before.
   However great God’s goodness, and whatever be the position of usefulness to which we may attain, there are prescribed limits beyond which we may not go. We must not cast ourselves in willful abandonment from the pinnacle of the Temple. God’s dearest children must not presume on their familiarity, and take liberties with His rules and ways. —Through the Bible Day by Day