by Larry Stockstill
We can almost always trace our successes and failures to our seeking of God. When we are humble and childlike, we sense our total dependence upon and hunger for God. Prayer becomes easy and natural because we are so dependent. When we become proud and self-sufficient, however, we stop praying and start acting.
The Lord helped Uzziah "wonderfully until he became very powerful. But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. . . ." (2 Chronicles 26:15-16). Satan trapped Uzziah in the same snare that he himself had fallen into in eternity past. Pride had caused Satan to be cast out of heaven, and pride caused Uzziah to be cast out of the temple. As a result of his arrogant attitude and defiant spirit toward the priests of God, Uzziah developed terminal leprosy. If only he had remained childlike, humble, and dependent!
Our prayer lives reveal our heart attitudes. Therefore, we need to keep seeking the Lord, even if our minds tell us we have "made it." God may be checking out our dependence attitudes!
26 Then all the people of Judah
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
6 He went to war against the Philistines
9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate,
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.
16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride
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
21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house
22 The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah
5 Jotham waged war against the king of the Ammonites
6 Jotham grew powerful
7 The other events in Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and the other things he did, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years.9 Jotham rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And Ahaz his son succeeded him as king.
5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hands of the king of Aram.
He was also given into the hands of the king of Israel, who inflicted heavy casualties on him.6 In one day Pekah
9 But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there, and he went out to meet the army when it returned to Samaria. He said to them, “Because the Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry
12 Then some of the leaders in Ephraim—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—confronted those who were arriving from the war.13 “You must not bring those prisoners here,” they said, “or we will be guilty before the Lord. Do you intend to add to our sin and guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his fierce anger rests on Israel.”
14 So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly.15 The men designated by name took the prisoners, and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with clothes and sandals, food and drink,
16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the kings
22 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful
24 Ahaz gathered together the furnishings
26 The other events of his reign and all his ways, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.27 Ahaz rested
26 All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father.2 After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem.4 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done.5 Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God.
6 Uzziah declared war on the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. Then he built new towns in the Ashdod area and in other parts of Philistia.7 God helped him in his wars against the Philistines, his battles with the Arabs of Gur,
9 Uzziah built fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the angle in the wall.10 He also constructed forts in the wilderness and dug many water cisterns, because he kept great herds of livestock in the foothills of Judah
11 Uzziah had an army of well-trained warriors, ready to march into battle, unit by unit. This army had been mustered and organized by Jeiel, the secretary of the army, and his assistant, Maaseiah. They were under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officials.12 These regiments of mighty warriors were commanded by 2,600 clan leaders.13 The army consisted of 307,500 men, all elite troops. They were prepared to assist the king against any enemy.
14 Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and sling stones.15 And he built structures on the walls of Jerusalem, designed by experts to protect those who shot arrows and hurled large stones
16 But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar.17 Azariah the high priest went in after him with eighty other priests of the Lord, all brave men.18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!”
19 Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy
22 The rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.23 When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors; his grave was in a nearby burial field belonging to the kings, for the people said, “He had leprosy.” And his son Jotham became the next king.
27 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
2 Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways.
3 Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel.4 He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas.5 Jotham went to war against the Ammonites and conquered them. Over the next three years he received from them an annual tribute of 7,500 pounds
6 King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.
7 The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and other activities, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years.9 When Jotham died, he was buried in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.
28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestor David had done.2 Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. He cast metal images for the worship of Baal.3 He offered sacrifices in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire.
5 Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army.6 In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel’s king, killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops, all of them experienced warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors.7 Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son; Azrikam, the king’s palace commander; and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command.8 The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and seized tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria.
9 But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed.10 And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God?11 Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord’s fierce anger has been turned against you!”
12 Then some of the leaders of Israel
14 So the warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of the leaders and all the people.15 Then the four men just mentioned by name came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear, gave them enough food and drink, and dressed their wounds with olive oil. They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho, the city of palms. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time King Ahaz of Judah asked the king of Assyria for help.17 The armies of Edom had again invaded Judah and taken captives.18 And the Philistines had raided towns located in the foothills of Judah
20 So when King Tiglath-pileser
22 Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord.23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah.
24 The king took the various articles from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord’s Temple so that no one could worship there, and he set up altars to pagan gods in every corner of Jerusalem.25 He made pagan shrines in all the towns of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods. In this way, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors.
26 The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign and everything he did, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.27 When Ahaz died, he was buried in Jerusalem but not in the royal cemetery of the kings of Judah. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.
26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah did.
5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.
6 And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
7 And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gurbaal, and the Mehunims.
8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly.
9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
10 Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry.
11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.
12 The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred.
13 And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
14 And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones.
15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong.
16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men:
18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God.
19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar.
20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him.
21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead.
27 Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the Lord. And the people did yet corruptly.
3 He built the high gate of the house of the Lord, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
4 Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
5 He fought also with the king of the Ammonites, and prevailed against them. And the children of Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay unto him, both the second year, and the third.
6 So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the Lord his God.
7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
9 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead.
28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father:
2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.
4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.
7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.
8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
9 But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the Lord God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.
10 And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God?
11 Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.
12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,
13 And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.
14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.
15 And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.
17 For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.
18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
19 For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord.
20 And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.
21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the Lord, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.
22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz.
23 For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
25 And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers.
26 Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,
6 This is also why you pay taxes,
8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come
13 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do.7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.
8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.”
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy.14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
3 he refreshes my soul.
4 Even though I walk
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
11 Even small children are known by their actions,
so is their conduct really pure
11 Even children are known by the way they act,
whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.
11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.