Uzziah was one of the good guys. He was one of those rare kings who “did what was right in the sight of the Lord”. He had a sharp military mind, equipping his army with the best equipment, enhancing the walls of Jerusalem, and designing unique devices that shot arrows and threw stones. He had a mind for economics and agriculture, investing in livestock and vineyards. He cared for his country. He had a long, stabilizing rule over the nation of Judah, so much so that when he died, Isaiah the prophet said his whole world was shook up. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction (2 Chronicles 26:16)
It seems there’s a flaw in many of us, whereby we stay closer to the Lord when times are difficult. We trust in the Lord, God helps us, and life improves. It’s at that time that we face the very human temptation of pride. We start to think that we are, in fact, awesome. Like Nebuchadnezzar of old, we say to ourselves, “Is this not a great city that I have build with my power and for my majesty?” (Dan. 4:30)
Uzziah’s pride led him to overstep the boundaries of being a king and take on the role of a priest. He went into the Temple itself thinking there was nothing he couldn’t do. God had to humble Uzziah with leprosy. Humility is not a thing we learn when times are tough. Humility is something we cultivate our entire lives.