2 Kings 15:1-5, 2 Chronicles 26:1-21.
The journey today in the OT (old testament) takes us to Judea. The year is 768 BC. A new King is crowned. He is 16 years old. His beginnings start out well. He seeks Godly counsel, he listens, he cares for his kingdom, and has many gifts that he gives to those in his community and nation. But he becomes too proud, which later leads to his downfall.
The most curious part of this story in the OT is the vast difference in the two accounts written by our OT authors. The story is recorded in Kings and also in Chronicles. However, Chronicles provides many more details to this young king’s life. Historians that have studied the OT in depth, believed that 1st and 2nd Kings were written during the pre-exile days, before the Israelites were exiled in Babylon. And Chronicles was written post exile days, often offering a little twist of the same stories with glimpses of hope and restoration. But how interesting that these two accounts of the same king are delivered so differently. Can we learn from these differences?
Let’s take a look at King Amaziah’s life prior to his downfall. Take a moment a create a list comparing the two.
He was king for 52 years, documented in both accounts.
We are introduced to his mother, documented in both accounts.
He had a godly counselor, Zechiariah, and as long as he listened to this counselor, God gave him success. (Only documented in Chronicles (5), and the rest of this list is found only in Chronicles)
He was a successful warrior, thanks to the help of the Lord. (6a)
He built new towns. (6b)
He became famous.(7)
Many adjacent lands knew of his fame and power. (8)
He helped his nation by constructing forts and creating watering systems for the land. (10a)
He loved to garden and care for the land. (10b)
He was a king of fairness, employing workers to care for his farms and vineyards. (10c)
His soldiers were influenced by his justice, ready to defend his honor at any time. (11)
He was a good provider for his soldiers. (14)
He was a good protector of his people. (15)
Lastly, “his fame spread far and wide, for the Lord gave him marvelous help and he became very powerful” (15:b)
Such detail of this king, written by “The Chronicler”, was previously left out in the first account. But why? Maybe the author wanted you to be able to see your own humanity in this king? A just man, fair to others, loved by many, not afraid of getting his own hands dirty. But he allowed his fame and power to get to his head. Reread 2 Chronicles 26:16-21. This part of the story is also left out of Kings chapter 15. Again, are we called to see our own humanity? Could this be a reminder of the proper respect and honor we are called to give to our Lord?
What was King Uzziah’s ultimate downfall? To be cursed with a disease requiring complete isolation from all, isolated from even those that he loved. We are called to honor our Lord, with all that he gives us. To honor him in all we do. Unfortunately , we all fall short, no matter how successful or famous we may become. Sin is inevitable. We are called to honor and this honor extends to Christ, who provided a way out of isolation. A doorway leading us out of isolation from our sin. We only have to open it.
Be weary dear child, of being proud. Be humble. I may allow you to achieve power and fame, but others before you have failed. They took their eyes off of Me. Keep your eyes on Me at all times and in all circumstances. My son Jesus, provides a narrow way for you to stay on track. Never take your eyes off him. You are not called to live in isolation. You are called to have beautiful soil and vineyards that fertilize your soul and to share your bounty to others.