In II Chronicles 26, we find the story of the good King Uzziah, who began to reign when he was sixteen. He sought to honor the Lord, and did right and prospered with strong, Godly leadership.
With that strength, however, came pride. He thought that he had no limits. In his pride, he usurped the authority of the priest and burned incense in the Temple.
First, we see the mercy of God. The priests came and kindly corrected the King, explaining why he was wrong. They offered him a humble way out of the bad situation.
Next, we see the pride of the King. When corrected, he became very angry. Instead of repenting, he became hardened in his sin, and proceeded to knowingly do wrong.
Finally, we see the judgment of God. In the midst of his anger, God struck the King with leprosy.
Here is the saddest part: the great King who knew the great strength of the hand of God on his life became satisfied with leprosy. Instead of humbling himself, he let his son do his job as King, and died defeated. How sad to see such a strong king go to his grave in defeat!
How about you? Have you made some prideful mistakes? Take part in God's mercy, before the problem gets worse. Whatever you do, don't become satisfied with defeat. God's mercy is new every morning, and the same God who brings judgment delights to bring restoration through our repentance.
2 Chronicles 26:16-21, "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. (17) And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: (18) 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. (19) 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. (20) 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. (21) And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land."