Items posted on 4 July 2011
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2 Chronicles 26.14-20 – The Lordship of God
Posted: 4 July 2011 in 2 Chronicles

And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows….. 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. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. Then Uzziah was wroth, 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. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.

I suppose this is a follow on from the previous post. The hard truth we humans have to live with is that God is not, in our terms, “fair” in the bestowal of his gifts, but that he bestows them upon whom he will for the furtherance of his own glory. By the eighth century BC it was an established fact that it was God’s will the descendants of Aaron should minister to him in the priesthood, and nobody else. Here Uzziah displays what is probably an almost universal human failing in no sooner encountering a prohibition than in wanting to violate it. The word “no” is not one we like to hear – especially when it dents our pride, and makes clear that God’s Lordship is more than a form of words.

There is a not dissimilar story in Acts 8, where a gift which God has apparently reserved to the apostles is seen by Simon the sorcerer as a means of boosting his own prestige, and possibly bank balance as well. Unlike Uzziah he isn’t immediately smitten with leprosy, but he does get a severe dressing down from Peter.

I suppose God’s absolute severeignty in choosing whom he will, and always with his own purposes in view, is never harder to accept than when it comes to election to salvation.

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