“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.” 2 Chronicles 26:16
King Uzziah was a King of Judah from about 783-742 BC and was a good King that obeyed the Lord. He started his reign at age 16 and had a religious mentor – a priest called Zechariah. King Uzziah prospered because of his obedience to God and won many battles – often miraculous victories of God. Then when Uzziah became very powerful, he slipped into arrogance and pride. He went into the part of the temple that only priests were allowed to go, because he felt these religious leaders were superfluous. He felt he had earned the right to go straight to God himself. “Then Uzziah was wroth [angry], and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar.” 2 Chronicles 26:19. The priests tried to stop him, but he pushed his way in anyway and developed leprosy almost instantly. After that he was forced out of Jerusalem and upon his hasened death his son took over reign of the Kingdom.
We don’t have to go through priests anymore, because of Christ’s sacrifice for us at Calvary. Now access to God through prayer, in Jesus’ name, is our honor, right and responsibility. In Uzziah’s day the rules were different and in accordance with Mosaic Law. Uzziah, through his pride and arrogance, felt he no longer needed to heed the counsel of the priests or to obey Mosaic Law. He felt he could do everything all by himself.
I shared this life lesson from scripture to say this. We need Christian leadership and guidance constantly. If you skip out on church attendance, fail to head counsel of fellow Christians, or God forbid, fail to immerse yourself in scripture through the consistent reading of God’s Word, you open yourself up for failure – failure as a Christian, and failure as a good responsible member of society. Just look at what happened to the once good King Uzziah.
If we truly love the Lord and want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we should always embrace assembling together as Christians, heeding good biblical counsel from Christian mentors and immersing ourselves in the Word of God.