I am a nerd. I admit it. I enjoy reading Chronicles. If you don’t get hung up on the names, there are some interesting stories. With Chronicles, you also get commentary about the individuals, sometimes including their motives. Chapter 26 tells of King Uzziah. I suppose he’s most famous for dying. (You know, Isaiah 6:1… ‘In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up…‘) He became king at 16 and reigned for 52 years. That’s a tremendous burden, being responsible for a nation of God’s people, surrounded on every side by enemies, especially for a teenager. There was a prophet named Zechariah (not THAT Zechariah) and Uzziah depended on the prophet’s counsel. Verse 5 says ‘as long as [Uzziah] sought the Lord, God made him prosper‘.
However, verse 16 says, ‘But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction…‘ After a string of successes, he decided he could set his own agenda. The rest of the chapter tells how he went into the temple with the intent of burning the incense. That was a job for the descendants of Aaron and them alone. For his presumption, he was immediately struck with leprosy and lived out the rest of his days in exile in his own house.
That’s where the story hits home – There have been times when I’ve presumed to do things my way, and expected Him to bless my efforts. He’d blessed me before with success. To me, that indicated I knew what I was doing. I was wrong. We will never get to the place where we can operate on our own. It is only when we seek the Lord that success comes. And in truly seeking God, success is no longer the goal, but a footnote.