2 Chronicles 26

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Read 2 Chronicles 26

Uzziah King of Judah

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

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. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. 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.

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. God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. The Ammonitesbrought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.

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.

Go Deeper

The life of King Uzziah is a case study on faithfulness. As we watch his life unfold in this chapter, we have some lessons or warnings to pay attention to as we try to run our own race well.

Chapter 26 begins in a similar way to the others before it by telling us facts about the king coming into power. King Uzziah was 16 years old when he began his reign, he reigned 52 years, and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord like his father (see chapter 25 for more on Amaziah). In verse 5 we see more detail given than before, he sought God and Zechariah instructed him in the fear of God. It goes on to say, “as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”

Uzziah experienced much success and help from the Lord as we see in the verses that follow. He is considered by scholars to be a strong and innovative king. However, in verse 16, his life takes a tragic turn, “But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.” A repeated phrase in verses 8 and 15 is that his fame spread, and he became powerful. Instead of attributing those things to God, he now only trusts in himself. After verse 16, the repeated word to describe King Uzziah is “unfaithful” (vs. 16, 18). He was taught the fear of God, but eventually succumbed to his own selfish pride.

How do we prevent our lives from turning out the same? In his book, Long Obedience in the Same Direction, Eugene Peterson describes us as both disciples and pilgrims. Disciples “spend our lives apprenticed to our master, Jesus Christ,” always growing and learning skills of faith from Him. Pilgrims “spend our lives, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ.” (Peterson, p.11). It’s not simple, easy, without trouble or opposition. In fact, Jesus himself warns us of these things in John 16:33 and John 10:10. However, in Him we aren’t left alone in the difficulties we face. Jesus also tells us that in Him is life (John 10:10, John 14:5), rest (Matthew 11:38) and peace (John 14:27). A life of faithfulness begins with taking all things to Him and giving all credit to Him. We give him our fears and anxieties along with our successes.

Paul is quoted in Acts 20:24, “…my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me.” King Uzziah didn’t finish his race with faithfulness. He let the world form and shape him into someone that later opposes the people of God (vs. 17-19). Hebrews 12:1-2 teaches us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” In the end all the people said about King Uzziah according to verse 23 was, “He had leprosy.” That was his legacy. Let’s aim to finish faithfully.


  1. What are the sins that easily entangle you and prevent you from a life of faithfulness?
  2. Are you wrestling or struggling with difficulties right now?
  3. Take your list from questions 1 and 2 and write out a prayer of forgiveness and/or petition to God. He wants you to go to Him with all of it. He created you, sent His Son Jesus to die for you, and cares deeply for you. Next, share it with your community.

A Quote

“There is a great market for religious experience in our world, there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier generations of Christans called holiness.”

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

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3 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 26”

  1. Pride such a hard emotion, character quality, or what exactly? But it sure gets us in trouble a lot. Growing up it was spoken to me to be proud of what I accomplished and take pride in doing well. Now it seems that pride is not the best and causes downfalls. Being proud of doing something well but with thanksgiving to God and whom ever helped you accomplish your task could this be the answer? (I am truly asking) Giving God the glory for everything that happens, good or bad. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you Hebrews 12:28-29 28 Therefore let
    us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. Perhaps if King Uzziah had been more thankful…?

    God I am thankful for all You do in my life, everyday, every minute. God I give You the glory for “trouble” that I can see You working in that as well and I am thankful for You showing me or helping me to be still. God I desire to pursue You, Your word. God help me with my motives and intentions I want to seek only the approval of YOU!! God I proclaim this over my life today and thank You for guidance in Jesus name amen

  2. Ella Snodgrass

    As we saw in the life of King Amaziah, so we see in his son Uzziah, victory ushered in their ultimate defeat. It’s been said that “we are never closer to failure than during our greatest successes.” With Uzziah’s superb accomplishments came considerable pride, “But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall”( v15.) Clearly God hates pride because he knows how destructive it can be in our lives. For Uzziah, great prosperity and power led him to believe that he was above the law of God. He treated casually the sacred assignments given priests to burn incense on the altar in the sanctuary and was stricken with leprosy for the rest of his life. Even though Uzziah reached the pinnacle of success, sadly his legacy is one of arrogance that led him to live in isolation with a dreaded disease. Pride always usurps God’s authority in our lives. What will we be remembered for?
    Give Me Jesus

  3. Diane Frances Rogers

    What a powerful lesson we can learn from King Uzziah.
    “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16: 18
    “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud,” vs.19.

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