Who was King Uzziah?
King Uzziah was one of the kings of Judah. Uzziah became the king of Judah when he was 16 years old. The period of his reign in Jerusalem in Judah is 52 years. He was a righteous king and walked faithfully according to God’s commandments. He removed the idolatry in the land. However, the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense to God in the high places. God gave him success in everything he did and he was able to conquer many territories. He was successful because he fear God and walked in his commandments.
King Uzziah’s Military Success
Uzziah defeated the Philistines, Arabians, and Ammonites. He destroyed the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. The Ammonites brought tributes to King Uzziah. He had towers built in Jerusalem at several gates including the Corner Gate, Valley Gate, angle of the wall, and desert. He kept many live stock in the foothills and plain. Uzziah loved gardening and he hired many people to work his fields and vineyards.
Uzziah had a large army of 307,500 men. Two thousand six hundred men were put in charge over the fighting men. All the men in the army were well trained for war. Uzziah’s army was equipped with various types of weapons including shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones. Machines that shoot arrows and hurl large stones were installed on the corner defenses.
King Uzziah’s Downfall
King Uzziah’s downfall was caused by his pride. He was very successful in military campaigns and he felt that God has greatly exalted him. He was so proud that he entered into the temple to burn incense to God on his own. This is the job of the priest and other people are not allowed to do so. When the priest, Azariah and 8 other priests saw this, they also entered into the temple. They rebuked King Uzziah for burning incense to God by himself since he was not consecrated to do so. They bade the king to leave the temple so that he will not be honored by God.
King Uzziah’s anger flared up when the priests confronted him in front of the incense altar. When this is taking place, God struck King Uzziah with leprosy. When he realized God had struck him with leprosy, he felt urgent to go out of the temple. King Uzziah’s leprosy did not heal. He had leprosy for the rest of his life. Because of his leprosy, he cannot live in the palace. He was forced to live in a different residence and exempted from the temple of God. His son, Jotham, reigned Judah in his place because he had leprosy.