King Uzziah

We are told in 2 Chronicles 26.16-21 how King Uzziah was punished by God when he intended to burn incense upon the altar of incense in the temple of the Lord. Godís design was that only the sons of Aaron who were consecrated to the priesthood could enter the temple to burn incense and that none else was allowed to perform this duty. But Uzziahís heart was so lifted up as to insist on his burning incense in the temple. Leprosy appeared instantly on his brow as the result of Godís punishment. This incident serves as a further warning to us that we should never act presumptuously without the divine command lest we too be punished. Leprosy in the spiritual sense signifies a sin of defilement. Whoever undertakes anything without the Lordís command commits before God the sin of defilement. In divine work, therefore, manís own zeal is useless, because he is not allowed to direct the work by his zealousness. It is an excellent thing to enter the temple to burn incense; such action, however, becomes a sin to be punished if it is not ordered by God. King Uzziah offended the Lord by presumptuously entering the temple to burn incense; with the result that he became a leper and remained so till the day of his death. We cannot ignore such an extraordinary warning.