Revised: September 7, 2015
There are times in our lives when we must make a decision to either place GOD above all things, or to allow ourselves to be tempted to exalt ourselves above His authority. Each of these actions will yield results, but the results nor the rewards will be equals.
To illustrate this point, I will be using what I perceive as a correlation between King David and King Uzziah as we read about King David in 2 Samuel 6 and King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26. This correlation is founded in them both approaching the altar of the LORD, but receiving a different response based upon the LORD’s perception of their hearts. King David chose to do what was honorable before the LORD, so his offering was accepted, while King Uzziah chose to promote himself above the LORD, which resulted in rejection. They each received their own reward from a just GOD.
King David of Israel
2 Samuel 6: 12-23 (NIV)
The Ark Brought to Jerusalem
12 Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.
20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
King David had respect and reverent awe for the LORD GOD Almighty. He understood the importance of the Ark of the Covenant, and he gave offerings and sacrifice as they brought the Ark from the house of Obed-Edom. He danced and gave praise to the LORD as they journeyed and entered Jerusalem. King David had an humble heart, and even though he was despised by Michal, his wife, King David chose to honor GOD above all others.
King David consecrated a place of worship for the LORD and burned sacrificial and fellowship offerings unto the LORD after bringing the ark triumphantly into the City of David. He showed humbleness before the LORD as he blessed the people, and his reward was more prosperity. Again, because he danced before the LORD and acted clamorously foolish, and reaped the disrespect of Michal his wife –his humble heart had led him to do so. GOD blessed him mightily. Michal was given a barren womb because of her disrespect for GOD and for her husband. Sometimes we forget who controls the universe and who has the power to make changes in His creation.
Uzziah King of Judah
Burning Incense In The Temple
2 Chronicles 26: 1-23 (NIV)
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 ancestors.
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother’s name was Jekoliah; 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.
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.
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 wilderness 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 devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.
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. 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah 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.”
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.
21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house—leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.
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 ancestors and was buried near them in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.”
King Uzziah went into the temple and attempted to burn incense upon the altar. Was this a bad thing? Yes, because his heart was filled with arrogance, not awe for the LORD GOD, and this was not his appointed task.
King Uzziah had reigned for many years, and he was blessed mightily by GOD in numerous ways. Where the dilemma came was in his inability to listen to the voice of humility, to the Holy Spirit. King Uzziah became puffed up in his own importance because of his prosperity. It is hard to hear GOD when you have no needs. There is less desire to seek GOD when nothing is amiss. It is a human trait, this inability to remain humble and contrite in our successful times, yet we do have the strength to overcome temptation provided by GOD’s Spirit.
When is it necessary to hunker down and look to GOD for deliverance? During our times of prosperity. Our eyes can be blinded and our ears stopped up, and our hearts can be hardened by prosperity. King Uzziah lost his kingdom due to arrogance. He was struck down with leprosy. Let us try to do better.
Always keep your spiritual guard up during the prosperous times. Remember that GOD gives and that He can take away.
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