“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. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the LORD God.'” 2 Chronicles 26:18
Here is the only blot we find on the name of Uzziah. As long as he sought the Lord and worshiped Him according to Divine appointment, God made him to prosper. God helped him “marvelously till he became strong.” But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, to his own destruction. He was not content with the honors God had put upon him, but would usurp those that were forbidden him — like our first parents. The chief priest and other priests were ready to burn incense for the king, according to the duty of their office, and plainly acquainted him that if through a mistaken zeal he offered to do it himself, he would incur the wrath of God and suffer for it; but this served only to excite his wrath, till he felt the judgment of God’s hand in his punishment. Though Uzziah strove with the priests, he could not strive with his Maker, He retired as soon as he was smitten with the leprosy.
In this, we see that our God is a jealous God, who expects that all who serve Him shall do it according to His own institutions. Do you, reader, come to Him in the way of His appointment? Take care that you come not with the unhallowed fire before the Lord, lest you be smitten also. Come only through Jesus, the great High Priest, and you are safe.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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