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. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.” Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense. And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the Lord had struck him. (2 Chronicles 26:18-20 ESV)
We are not told why Uzziah wanted to burn incense. Perhaps he did not like the way the priests did it, or did not want to wait on them, or thought that he was just as capable (perhaps more so) than the priests. Whatever the reason, he was in the wrong and suffered leprosy at the hand of the Lord as a result. He was in the wrong because he was not consecrated as a priest. Even if the priests had been bad priests, Uzziah was still not justified. How much do we compare with Uzziah in this matter when we don’t like the way things are being done by the decision makers. We think that because we know a different way that looks so much better in our eyes that we are suddenly justified to undermine the existing authority and usurp their power. But God is sovereign and has ordained to position those in authority over us. I can’t help but think how often people in the church think things ought to go in a different direction than the current leadership is taking it. In their minds they have such a better plan and so they justify their criticism and subtle tempts to usurp. But God speaks to us in this through Uzziah. Will we listen?