Summary: This message looks at how one mistake defines the life of Uzziah rather than the good he did.
An Epitaph is a short statement intended to honor a person who has passed away. Many times these short statements sum up a person’s life or legacy. In fact some epitaphs are quite humorous such as: “I told you I was sick!” “He stepped on the gas instead of the brake.” “Here Lies Jonathan Fiddle who went out of tune.” Here are my three favorite epitaphs of famous people. Mel Blanc: “That’s all folks.” Merv Griffin: “I will not be back after this message.” Winston Churchill: "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter." Have you ever wondered how you will be remembered? What legacy are you leaving behind? Are you going to be remembered the way that you want to be? As we open the pages of 2 Chronicles, we meet a king by the name of Uzziah. He was raised in a Godly home, in fact is father Amaziah was a king that did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. As Uzziah comes to the throne he seems to be devoted to the Lord and is enjoying His hand of blessing. However, somewhere along the line Uzziah will veer of course and despite all of his monumental achievements he will be remembered for the results of his mistakes. Today, as we look at this tragic story we will discover some valuable insights that will enable us to live a life that will allow us to be remembered for a Godly walk rather than for the sum of our mistakes.
I. Uzziah comes to the throne and seems to have everything going for him.
A. Uzziah on the surface appears to have been raised with Godly influences.
1. Uzziah’s grandfather Joash was characterized as a king who did what was right in the Lord’s eyes.
2. His father Amaziah was characterized as a king who also did what was right in the Lord’s eyes.
3. As Uzziah comes to the throne at age sixteen to begin his fifty-two year reign he is described as a king who did what was right in the Lord’s eyes just as his father Amaziah had done.
4. So being the third consecutive Godly King one would expect Uzziah to leave quite an impressive legacy of faith and leadership.
5. The writer also mentions the fact that a prophet by the name of Zechariah provided a very positive influence for Uzziah.
B. Uzziah enjoys God’s hand of blessing as he begins his reign over Judah.
1. God poured out blessing after blessing upon Uzziah. Everything that Uzziah attempted was successful.
2. His army was large, well trained and battle seasoned. Uzziah became more and more powerful and his enemies were brought into submission.
3. Under Uzziah’s leadership Judah regained much of its lost territory and occupying forces were expelled from the land.
4. Uzziah had quite the impressive resume.
a. He refortified Jerusalem and installed catapults and other advanced battle machines.
b. He had vast herds, flocks, vineyards and fields.
c. He built a vast network of cisterns to provide water.
5. With a resume like this and fifty-two years on the throne one would expect much more than just one chapter to be devoted to him.
II. Understanding how Uzziah got off track.
A. Lurking below the surface are some signals that there may be some unseen issues.
1. Yes, Uzziah is the third consecutive Godly king to sit on the throne of Judah but there are a few details that can easily be missed if we don’t pay close attention.
a. Like Uzziah both Joash and Amaziah had Godly influences that kept them on track.
b. When they lost those Godly influences they began to veer off course.
c. Joash and Amaziah both started out walking in God’s ways but finish their reigns in less than honorable ways.
2. The question is will Uzziah walk in God’s ways his entire life or will he follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and get off track.
3. We would expect Uzziah to equate his success and the constant blessing from the Lord with obedience to God’s commands.
4. Perhaps Uzziah will take note from his father and grandfather’s mistakes and avoid breaking faith with the Lord.
B. Uzziah is a prime example of the fact that often success left unchecked can go to our heads.
1. Joash and Amaziah both were just outright unfaithful to the Lord toward the ends of their reigns but Uzziah will meet a different pitfall.
2. No one can accuse Uzziah of being intentionally unfaithful to the Lord; his inflated view of himself will lead him to believe that the rules do not apply to him.
3. Perhaps, he didn’t pay close enough attention to Solomon’s proverbs, because pride will be what ultimately brings Uzziah down.