Uzziah was only sixteen years old when he became king. He was a very accomplished and well known king, his fame spread around the land.
King Uzziah was very powerful and God helped him win many victories against his enemies.
King Uzziah was involved in a lot of interesting things during his reign as king. He had men build tall towers and dig many deep wells. He encouraged agricultural developments around his kingdoms, fields and vineyards.
King Uzziah built up a strong military presence that was well trained, well organized and well equipped with the weapons they needed.
Perhaps the most interesting of all though is that King Uzziah invented devices to be used on the towers so his soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones to the enemy below. This is the first mention of a warlike device of this nature and it is a long time before history records Greeks or Romans using anything similar!
So long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God gave him success in what he did. It sounds like a very logical thing for King Uzziah to keep seeking to honor God, doesn’t it? Sadly, as his power and accomplishments grow so does his pride.
God had a rule about his temple. It had been a rule from the very beginning and it was that only priests could do the offerings to God in the temple. And only Levites were to be priests.
King Uzziah had an idea – he thought he should go burn incense to the Lord in the temple. He knew that he wasn’t supposed to, but he wanted to do so anyway. After all, he was the king.
Azariah the priest and eighty other priests confronted Uzziah.
“This isn’t right King Uzziah! You know you aren’t a priest from the tribe of Levi. Don’t do this sinful thing!”
That angered King Uzziah and he threw a fit. He didn’t want to be told what he could do. He raged and he roared at those priests.
And as he threw the ugliest of temper tantrums his forehead broke out in leprosy.
Leprosy was a terrible disease that ate at the flesh.
The priests hurried King Uzziah out of the temple and he had to live the rest of his life separate from others in his own house.
When he died he was buried near to, but not with, his ancestors, because of his leprosy.