If You are the King, Don’t Try to be The Priest

by Kyle Lum on July 02, 2024


“But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭26:16‬‬
“Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead.”
2 Chronicles‬ ‭26:19‬‬


King Uzziah was brought up “right”.  As the birth son of Amaziah, and subsequently raised by Zechariah the priest as a mentor, God blessed Uzziah’s reign as king since his coronation at 16 years old.
With all of that godly instruction growing up at the feet and knee of the priest, I’m sure Uzziah watched and observed all that Zechariah did in holy service to the LORD; the reverence, the spiritual authority they carried, the disciplined practices necessary to carry such authority, such as the burning of the incense in the censers, the prayers....
When Uzziah was at the apex of his reign as king, he probably had it all. But it didn’t seem like enough.
Pride has a curious but predictable way of keeping us from true contentment, especially when we begin to compare ourselves to others—others’ lives, others’ possessions, others’ duties…it can go on and on.
He figured that if he was a powerful king, he then can ordain himself into the priesthood. He watched his mentor. He knows what to do. He’s king. All good except for one small detail.
God.  For some reason, he’s not there. No bueno.


When we are called to a certain ministry and vocation in our season of growing, what exactly determines our obedience to the LORD and not merely following our desires and our ambition?
Only two people will truly know. God, who lights our path, and ourselves, who choose to walk in that obedience along the lot path or take a chance and step off into darkness and our own pursuits.
Oftentimes we are swayed by pride and comparisons with others and that drives our need to often push our way into areas we aren’t called to.
We try to burn incense when we were called to be kings.
Pride can only be mitigated one way. With humility.
If not checked with willing humility, the downfall of opposing the LORD’s will, especially if it is in direct violation of His will, is the degradation of our original call. For Uzziah it was the plague of leprosy.
Thank God for Jesus who takes our plagues away; we instead have leprous ministries, falling apart at the seams, we have humiliating consequences when our folly is revealed.
We need not follow the path of King Uzziah. Our true King, Jesus, took His sovereignty and laid it down for us, and humbled Himself.
I think I want to be like King Jesus. It's hard, but I need to try.


Lord Jesus. Thanks for the lesson from a powerful king who forgot his true assignment. Help us not to forget ours. Amen.


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