Uzziah son of Amaziah began to rule over Judah in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem.
He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. The Lord struck the king with leprosy, which lasted until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house. The king’s son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.
The rest of the events in Uzziah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Jotham became the next king.
(2 Kings 15:1-7)
Uzziah, who was also known as Azariah, was devoted to God and enjoyed God’s blessing in many ways. During his 52-year reign, he rebuilt and fortified the wall of Jerusalem, and Judah gained independence from Israel. Uzziah’s devotion to God helped Judah enjoy peace and prosperity that Judah had not experienced since the days of Solomon.
Although Uzziah accomplished a great deal, he followed the example of his father Amaziah and grandfather Joash by failing to destroy the pagan shrines in Judah. Uzziah’s father and grandfather were basically good kings, but they were poor role models in this important area.
Each of us has blind spots from things that we’ve grown up with or gotten used to. For Uzziah, the pagan shrines had always been there. He followed the examples he saw, but God commanded deeper changes.
Jesus provides a perfect role model. No matter how you were raised or who has influenced your life, Jesus should be your example. It’s important to pay close attention to how he lived and what he taught. When you read about Jesus’ life, imagine how you can follow his example.