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“The record of each successive king in Judah reinforces the point that God requires complete conformity to His laws concerning worship, and blesses or judges a people on the basis of their faithfulness to Him in these matters. All else flows out of the fundamental question of whether or not the people of God will humbly submit themselves to Him in His own house. This point is further strengthened when we come to the summary of the reign of Uzziah, of whom we are told, ‘as long as he sought the lord, God made him prosper.’ Yet, like Rehoboam, it seems that pride entered the heart of Uzziah for ‘when he was strong his heart was lifted up to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar.’

John Girardeau notes, ‘God had given no warrant to a king to act as priest, and Uzziah arrogantly undertook without such a warrant, to discharge sacerdotal (priestly) functions. Azariah the priest, along with eighty other valiant priests, immediately saw the danger of this thing. They rushed in after Uzziah and ordered him out of the sanctuary, charging him with ‘trespassing’ against the Lord. In other words, Uzziah crossed the boundaries established by God. When confronted, he grew angry. After all, he was the king, and no meddling priests were going to order him around. One wonders how Uzziah would have responded to one of his own subjects who presumptuously intruded into his royal court without following the official protocol. Men of high rank expect a certain degree of decorum and respect to be paid to them by those who come into their presence. To presume to approach a king without due regard to the prescribed protocol would be universally regarded as an act of arrogant presumption. And yet men insist that they are entitled to draw near to the Holy God of heaven and earth in any way that seem pleasing to them! God backed up the priests, striking the king with leprosy for his arrogant presumption. At this, we are told that Uzziah ‘hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him.’

The account of Uzziah is yet one more example of the principle that we have been seeking to establish: No man has the right to trespass in God’s house by adding to or taking from His commands,” (Comin, 140-141)

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