Summary: As a believer our success is in the Lord based upon the choices we make. It also depends on the different events that go on in our lives and how we react to them. Apparently failures are the repercussions of the poor choices we make not lining up with God
Opening illustration: In George MacDonald’s fairy tale Lilith, giants live among normal people. These giants must conduct their daily affairs very carefully. When they sleep, their snoring is disruptive. When they turn over, houses may be crushed under their weight.
In the Bible, Uzziah became a “giant” of a man after becoming king at age 16. The keys to his success and failure are recorded in 2 Chronicles 26.
Introduction: Amaziah, up to a certain point, walks with God, but in weakness and with an unsteady step. He leans upon an arm of flesh: but he hearkens to the prophet, and this saves him from being defeated. The cities of Judah, however, suffer the consequences of his false step, and are plundered by the army of Israel, which Amaziah had sent back. Lifted up by the victory that he had obtained over Edom, he takes the gods of Seir which could not deliver their own people, and bows himself down before them. He then turns a deaf ear to the prophet who rebukes him. But pride goes before confusion, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Uzziah, the son of Amaziah, walks for a long time with Yahweh and prospers. The strength of Judah is increased, and all the king’s undertakings are successful. "But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up"; he takes upon himself the priestly function, and is smitten with leprosy by the hand of God.
We enter now on a period in which Isaiah throws much light on the state of the people. This state was partly exhibited before, in the reign of Joash, who, as soon as he hearkens to the princes, falls into idolatry. But in reading the first two chapters of Isaiah, or the prophecy of Hosea, we shall see the terrible condition of the people, the greatness of God’s patience, and the manner in which iniquity and idolatry multiplied on every side, when the king was not faithful and energetic.
(A) What were the keys to SUCCESS?
1. Godly Foundations (vs. 3 – 4) ~
His father Amaziah set a good example for him. It is important to have had people go before us who have set the stage, set the standards and set an example for us to walk worthy of the calling God has for you. Strong men and women who have exemplified Christ in their lives at every moment of their lives.
Do you have such men and women who have gone before you and those with whom you are associated with so that you can be successful in leading a full, sincere and faithful Christian life?
2. Godly Mentors (v. 5)
The prophet Zechariah instructed him. It was and is very important to be surrounded by a Godly mentor or mentors who will teach, admonish and help us to grow intimately in the Lord. Uzziah had a wonderful mentor Zechariah. If we don’t and have never had Godly mentors, it is time to get one so that you succeed in the extension of God’s Kingdom as well as in our daily lives. Make sure you are not getting ungodly advice but one that is from a godly source.
Illustration: My mentor(s).
3. Great Support System (v. 11 – 15) ~
He had an army of fighting men and capable generals who helped him. His army. He had a host of fighting men that went out to war by bands (לִגְדוּד, in bands), “in the number of their muster by Jeiel the scribe, and Maaseiah the steward (שֹׁטֵר), under Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.” The meaning is: that the mustering by which the host was arranged in bands or detachments for war service, was undertaken by (בְּיַד) two officials practised in writing and the making up of lists, who were given as assistants to Hananiah, one of the princes of the kingdom (יַד עַל), or placed at his disposal.
He had surrounded himself with people who would fight for him and with him. Do we have people who will fight the spiritual battles for and with us?
Illustration: The Spiritual Warfare team at Valley.
4. On God’s Team (vs. 5, 7) ~
And God prospered him. As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, and minded religion, God made him to prosper. Those only prosper whom God makes to prosper; for prosperity is his gift. Many have owned, that as long as they sought the Lord, and kept close to their duty, they prospered; but when they forsook God, every thing went cross. God never continues either to bless the indolent or to withhold his blessing from the diligent. He will never suffer any to seek his face in vain. Uzziah’s name was famed throughout all the neighbouring countries. A name with God and good people makes truly honourable. He did not delight in war, nor addict himself to sports, but delighted in husbandry.