Focus verses: II Chronicles 26:16-21
King Uzziah (also known as King Azariah just to help confuse us) was a successful King. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord — except, he did not tear down the high places where the people sacrified to idols.
He became powereful and prideful — a dangerous combination. He went into the temple to burn incense to the Lord. But only the priests were assigned and allowed to burn the incense. Uzziah had overstepped the bounds.
Worse than that, when the priests rebuked him for this transgression, he ranted and raved at them. But the Lord had the last word. Even as he was speaking leprosy broke out on his forehead.
Leprosy excluded one from all society in those days. Lepers lived in segregated valleys. If they were on the road they were required to call “Unclean, unclean” so that people would not come near them.
Uzziah was striken with leprosy as a punishment. I don’t believe it was as much because of his attempt to burn the incense as it was because of his raging at the priests who tried to correct him.
Presumption is a terrible quality. It oversteps its bounds and refuses correction. It stiffens an unteachable and recalcitrant spirit.
Keep us open and malleable and teachable. Let us not fall into belief that our deeds, however good, entitle us to be more than You created us to be. Help us to be the best we can be at what You created us for.