Discuss the purpose of trophies, awards, and accolades. Why do we give them? What do they say about people who win and succeed? What are the positives and negatives of seeking earthly victories?
Uzziah became king at a young age. He was talented and intelligent. The Kingdom of Judah did well under his leadership. People praised Uzziah, and then he began to think he was something pretty special! This is called pride.
Eventually, Uzziah became so prideful that he forgot to be humble even before God. He believed that he could do anything and did not respect the role of priests and other leaders.
16 But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, 18 and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.” 19 Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense. 20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the Lord had struck him. 21 And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. And Jotham his son was over the king’s household, governing the people of the land.
Uzziah attempted to do the job of the priests in the holiest temple. He was warned not to do this, and people reminded him that he remained a servant of God. When he disobeyed them, he became very ill. He eventually lost his throne and had to live in exile.
We worship God by trying to live our life in a way that honors and glorifies Him–by knowing and following Jesus. If and when we begin to do that, we cannot think it’s because we are just amazing Christians! Anything good that comes from us is a result of God’s gifting and working in and through us–nothing we did on our own. Instead, we can thank and praise Him when we notice His work in our lives. What an honor to be used by our Creator and Savior!
Uzziah started off strong, but then he became prideful and had to be removed. Do you think he sounds like someone God would want in Jesus’ family? No. Uzziah made a lot of good choices, but he still needed saving, just like us. Jesus is coming!