Wednesday, April 4, 2007


2 Kings calls Uzziah, “Azariah”, and only tells his story briefly in 2 Kings 15. 2 Chronicles, however, gives us a more detailed look at his life.

2 Chronicles 26: 1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 2 He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his fathers.

  • Why did Uzziah become king at such a young age? Can a young king succeed?
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.
  • What does it mean to seek the Lord?
  • What was the result when Uzziah sought the Lord?
6 He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. 8 The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.
  • Verse 7 says, “God helped him…” In what ways do you think God gave Uzziah help?
9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them. 10 He also built towers in the desert and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain. He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil. 11 Uzziah had a well-trained army, ready to go out by divisions according to their numbers as mustered by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the direction of Hananiah, one of the royal officials. 12 The total number of family leaders over the fighting men was 2,600. 13 Under their command was an army of 307,500 men trained for war, a powerful force to support the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army. 15 In Jerusalem he made machines designed by skillful men for use on the towers and on the corner defenses to shoot arrows and hurl large stones. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.
  • Verse 15 says that Uzziah was greatly helped. Who helped him and why?
16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
  • In this chapter we see this sequence of events: Uzziah seeks God. God helps Uzziah. Uzziah becomes powerful because of God’s help. When he becomes powerful, Uzziah became proud. Pride leads to Uzziah’s downfall. How can we seek God’s help without becoming proud when He helps us?
  • What was wrong with Uzziah burning incense on the altar of incense?
17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. 18 They confronted him and said, "It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God."
  • Why did Azariah, the priest, confront Uzziah? What did he tell him to do?
19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD's temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.
  • How would you explain Uzziah’s attitude when he was burning incense in the temple? Was he there seeking God’s help? Why did he react with anger when he was confronted?
  • Why did Uzziah change him mind and leave the temple?

21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house —leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.

  • What was the consequence of Uzziah’s pride and disobedience?

22 The other events of Uzziah's reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah rested with his fathers and was buried near them in a field for burial that belonged to the kings, for people said, "He had leprosy." And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.

  • Uzziah had been a good and prosperous king, but his final days were unfortunate. What will it take for you to walk with God throughout your life, experience answered prayer and God’s help, without it going to your head and making you proud?


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