Many of us remember Uzziah for what happened in the year that he died: Isaiah “saw the the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim... one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lordof hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’ ” (Isaiah 6:1–3, ESV).
In the year that Uzziah, the good king of Judah died, Isaiah had an encounter with the Living God! Oh, what a vision he beheld. The prophet Isaiah saw the God of creation gloriously seated on His heavenly throne with the encircled angels worshipping!
But what else do we know about Uzziah?
Uzziah, also known as Azariah, “did what was right in the Lord’s sight” (2 Kings 15:3, CSB).
“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem... He did what was right in the Lord’s sight... During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (2 Chronicles 26:3–5, CSB). The great, great, great... grandfather of Jesus was crowned king of Judah at sixteen, and he ruled for fifty-two years.
“God helped him against” ... his enemies and “he became very strong.” Uzziah became very rich and powerful with “large herds ... farmers and vinedressers... and fertile lands.” ... “Moreover, Uzziah had an army of soldiers, fit for war ... an army of 307,500, who could make war with mighty power ... And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong” (2 Chronicles 26:1-15, ESV).
“But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. But the priest went in after him ... and withstood King Uzziah and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.’ Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead... And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 26:16–21, ESV).
In other words, Uzziah got too big for his britches. He arrogantly marched into the temple and demanded an audience with God. Can you hear it? “Hey God, I’m big stuff! Listen up! Let me give you a piece of advice!”
Then, wham... Leprosy! Did God spank him? Humm?
In the end, God could have discarded Uzziah’s memory into the waste-can of the forever forgotten. But instead, he’s listed in the ancestry of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the One seated on the throne, encircled by worshipping angels singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”