“As Long As” – Reflection on Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26)
Uzziah, who was only 16 years old when he became king of the southern kingdom, has always intrigued me. He was one of the longest reigning kings of Judah and during his reign Judah was safe and prosperous. The commentary on his life is that “he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD…” (2 Chronicles 26:4). Yet, the progression of his life is sad. Notice this; this same chapter notes that Uzziah set himself to seek God and that he was instructed by Zechariah in the fear of God. And it says, “As long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper (verse 5). Later in the chapter it reads that he was “marvelously helped, till he was strong” (verse 15).
THEN IT HAPPENS (verse 16) – “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God…” He began as a young man seeking God and God helped him in his life and leadership. With God’s help he became strong and prosperous. When he got strong he became prideful. When he became prideful he was unfaithful and it cost him dearly. What are we to make of this? We want to do what is right in the eyes of the LORD. We want to seek God. As we seek God surely he will make us strong, but then what? In our strength will we maintain humility and our dependence on the Lord or will be become prideful? I think I am willing to pray, “Lord, if I being strong will lead to me being prideful then please keep me weak; if in my weakness I will be faithful to you” (2 Cor. 12:7-9).