Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Latter Years

July 8: 2 Kings 15 & 2 Chronicles 26

1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 3 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2 Kings 15:1-3

5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.


And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.


16 But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, 18 and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.” 19 Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense. 20 And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the Lord had struck him. 21 And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. And Jotham his son was over the king's household, governing the people of the land.
2 Chronicles 26:5 and 15b-21

The Latter Years

The Bible gives us several examples of people who served God faithfully until the latter years of their lives when they turned away from Him. We have seen it in the lives of Solomon and Joash, and now we see it again in the life of Uzziah (also called Azariah), King of Israel. Because we, too, are so prone to wander, we need to be careful that we do not become complacent in our Christian walk and turn away from the Lord.

What happened to Uzziah?

And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 2 Kings 15:3

And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 2 Chronicles 26:15b-16

God had blessed Uzziah for his faithfulness to Him, but when Uzziah became strong he forgot God. Did he honestly think that God would allow him into the inner courts of the temple?

Again, we must look into our own hearts and lives. How do we view our successes? Do we revel in the praise of man and believe in our hearts that we have succeeded by our own prowess and hard work? Who gave us our intelligence, and who gave us bodies that could handle hard work?

Everything we have, everything we do, and everything we are is from the hand of God.

Pray that God will keep you faithful to Him all the days of your life, both in good times and in bad times. Only in Christ will you have that true peace and joy that will encompass all of your life no matter what your circumstances.

Nothing is worth losing that peace and fellowship with God!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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