Summary: King Uzziah died and the hope of Judah seemed to die with him in the hearts of most of the people. But Isaiah had a greater vision. He knew that the hope of Judah was in the Lord.
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Pastor James May
2 Chronicles 26:1-5, "Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth [Elath], and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper."
Uzziah is also called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21
The Southern Kingdom of Judah was at a critical time in history. King Jeroboam II of the northern kingdom had died without a successor to his throne that was able to bring peace. The Northern Kingdom had fallen into anarchy and that same spirit threatened to engulf Judah as well. Amaziah had risen to the throne of Judah and began his reign by doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. It wasn’t long though until he became involved in idol worship. As a result of his idolatry, Amaziah was ran out of Judah, chased into Lachish and there he was killed.
Then upon the scene comes a popular boy-king of only 16 years of age. He was the son of Amaziah and heir to the throne of Judah. His reign is marked by some great accomplishments and some great victories that he won for Judah and the kingdom prospered greatly under his rule.
2 Chronicles 26:6-15 tells us of some of the things that Uzziah was able to accomplish.
He defeated Judah’s arch enemy, the Philistines.
The Ammonites paid tribute toUzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt
He built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
Also he built towers in the desert, and dug a lot of wells because he had a lot of cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: people worked for him who raised livestock and others who kept his vineyards in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved raising animals and livestock.
Uzziah had a huge army with 2600 captains who commanded 307, 500 highly trained and well equipped fighting men.
Uzziah had shields, and spears, and helmets, and body armor, and bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made siege engines, to be on the towers and upon the walls, to shoot arrows and great stones at any enemy.
Then, verse 15 tells us that, “… his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong."
Uzziah was the “hope of Israel”. Here was a king who had the intelligence to know what to do to make Judah a great nation and, with God’s help, the wisdom to use that knowledge. Their whole future looked bright under the leadership of Uzziah. Each day they would awaken and look forward to what great things the new day would bring.
Their land was productive, their homes were safe from their enemies, their lives were happy and there was much to look forward to because the king was on his throne and he would see to it that their every need was met. We can trust Uzziah. He has our best interest at heart. He is a man of wisdom and integrity. He is our provider and we can put our lives in his hands.
Everything was going great until we read in 2 Chronicles 26:16, "But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense."