In 2 Chronicles 26, we read the story of King Uzziah who was called to rule at the age of sixteen. When the people chose him to govern over them instead of his father, he grew from strength to strength and prospered in everything.
As he did what was right in the sight of God “…his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong.”
(2 Chronicles 26:15)
So what caused this great and successful king to be remembered as nothing more than a leper?
Note here that it says he was successful until he became strong, in other words, until he became proud.
“Stop for a moment and look at yourself…what are you known for?”
King Uzziah allowed pride to fill his heart and believed himself to know everything and lost the fear of God, just like many young people do today.
“…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 Chronicles 26:16)
When the priests rebuked him for this, instead of humbling himself and recognising his mistake, he was angry in his heart. Consequently, leprosy broke out across his forehead. In those days, a leprous person was an outcast; they were seen as ‘unclean’ and would have to stay away from the rest of the citizens of that city. In that single moment of rebellion in his heart, King Uzziah lost everything and was ashamed and humiliated before all men.
Isn’t this what happens to many youths nowadays?
Like this King, many youths lose the fear of God and despise the many opportunities that He gives them through direction and instruction from the man of God (pastors/assistants). They refuse to humble themselves. Consequently they become ‘leprous’.
Instead of being known for being successful, they are known for everything that is bad and shameful.
They become like those youths who are no longer known by their names but rather as ‘that girl that fights all the time’, ‘the boy who is an undergraduate’, ‘the one in the gang’, ‘the guy who ended up in prison’ or ‘the girl who got pregnant’.
Kind David was in a similar situation as King Uzziah. He was successful and also well known. At his greatest, like King Uzziah, he sinned when he sent his soldier to his death in battle because he wanted to be with his wife.
In comparison to King Uzziah’s sin, King David's seemed the worst of the two, so why is it then that today, he is remembered as the man after God’s own heart despite this big mistake? It’s because when David was rebuked by the priests for his actions, instead of being filled with pride like Uzziah, he humbled himself and repented of his sin.
Today, David is still known as a great king, a great man of God. Uzziah is known for being a leper.
Stop for a moment and look at yourself…what are you known for?
YPG National Coordinator