“And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.’” (2 Chronices 26:18 NKJV)
Kings had a lot of power over people back in Old Testament times. They held power over life and death. They could exile people and neve see them again. They could order taxes to be imposed without any checks or balances. Advisors might object, but the king’s desire would prevail. The king, or the people might experience a chastening from God, but rarely was it too severe. What got a king into trouble was when they led people away from the Lord, or if they felt like they were good enough to step in and do the job the priests were called to do. Saul discovered that when he didn’t wait for Samuel to offer a sacrifice and had the kingdom ripped away. Uzziah went into the Temple to burn incense on the altar and God and the priests were incensed. Uzziah broke out in leprosy and lived in isolation. He had been a great king, but he forgot his place in God’s kingdom.
Lest we think too little of Uzziah, this is the king Isaiah mourned for in Isaiah 6. He had accomplished great things. His problem was that he began to think too much of himself and he didn’t let God’s appointed priests do their work. While God won’t strike anyone with leprosy today, it’s important to let people do the work that God’s called them to do. People who try to do everything end up with health problems because they overwork themselves and deal with the frustrations that come from trying to do something they’re not good at. Some men are handy around the house and can fix anything. I learned from my dad. He used one tool and could fix anything around the house, as long as he knew the right phone number. When I try to fix something, it costs more in the long run than getting the right person to begin with. When it comes to doing God’s work, know your gifts and calling and work in those areas. Work in those areas that all Christians are called to do. But, trust others to do the work that God called them to do. The church will move forward when everyone’s doing their job.
Lord, it’s so easy to want to take over when I see someone making mistakes. Help me to focus on doing my job, and teach others what they need to know to do their job.