Sadly, we come to the sting in the tail. This has been a great story so far, but it nosedives in the final chapter. In the end it’s a tale of:
Pride (16): God’s law of gravity says that whatever (whoever) goes down must come up (Lk.14:10; Phil.2:1-11; Jas.4:10; 1 Peter 5:5). On the other hand, if you lift yourself up you will be put down. Someone said, ‘If the Lord’s going to raise you up, let him raise you up. But whatever you do don’t raise yourself up.’ That is sound counsel. Pride still goes before a fall (Prov.16:18).
Presumption (16b): One day, contemptuous of GOD, he walked into The Temple of GOD like he owned it and took over, burning incense on the Incense Altar. The Message.He went beyond his calling. He had a high and holy vocation as king, but this did not include the priesthood. He trespassed into territory that was not marked out for him and he should have known better. It wasn’t that he didn’t know God’s Word. The implication is, I believe, that he must have done. But he still wantonly crossed the boundary line. Beware of passing greedy eyes over someone else’s ministry. You’ve been given a ‘lane’ to run in, so stick to it. There is no anointing that will be given you for someone else’s task. Don’t meddle with matters that are none of your business.
Protest (17, 18): It was a big deal to rebuke a king. He held the power of life and death in his hands. But there comes a time to courageously confront things that are wrong. 81 men raised their voices and pointed out that the king was straying into someone else’s lane. They did so in the clearest terms. There are moments in life when you can’t sugar-coat the pill for anyone; you just have to say it how it is
Punishment (19-23): Uzziah’s punishment was real and severe and undiminished to the end of his life. It brought about great loss. He had to live in quarantine. He could not enter the temple. Management of the country and governance of the land passed to his son Jotham Also, he could not be buried in the royal cemetery, but in a field next to it. It makes all the more tragic reading when you consider that for many years he walked with God and was a great king. But no-one can defy God’s Word and get away with doing so. No-one. There are no loop-holes and no exemptions for anyone.