This lesson examines the life of Uzziah in a continuation of the study of Israel’s Kings. Uzziah is a successful, powerful king when he seeks the Lord. Unfortunately he allowed the power to go to his head and pride led to his downfall. Students will learn that a truly successful life is one that keeps the spotlight pointing to Jesus.
This lesson is only a guide to help you to prepare for your class. It was created for older students but can be adapted for your individual needs. Click here to see all the Bible lessons in this series.
Bible Story Title: Uzziah finds success by seeking God
Bible Passage: 2 Chronicles 26
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List: Bibles, pens/pencils, paper, lamp (with a incandescent bulb), butter, clay, ice cube, rock
Learning Goal: Students will learn that true success is achieved when others’ focus is on God’s greatness not an individual.
Learning Activity #1: (Hero comparison-this activity will help students discover that Jesus is the only One who can be a True Hero.) Have students write the name of someone they look up to. Have them compare how the person acts like Jesus and ways the person doesn’t look or measure up to the standards God teaches in His Word. What are things Jesus did that this person could never do?
Learning Activity #2: Spotlight activity: Using a lamp demonstrate the effects of the heat from the light upon different objects. Objects that change in consistency represent people. (Example: butter, clay, ice cube or anything that will change in consistency under the lamp’s heat.) Use an object that doesn’t change in consistency under the lamp’s heat (A rock) This object represents God. The illustration teaches why it is important to always keep our focus on God and point others to Him. Man cannot handle the pressure of fame. God is the only One who deserves any fame and can handle it because He is perfect in every way (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Choose a volunteer to read John 3:30. “He (Jesus) must become greater, I must become less.”
John the Baptist spoke those words. God called John to prepare the way for the Promised Savior. He knew that his purpose wasn’t for people to focus their attention on him but their focus was to be completely on Jesus the Savior of the World.
(If you used the hero comparison activity discuss what the students discovered when they compared their hero with Jesus.) If not, have the following discussion: Can you think of a famous person that you looked up to and you felt like they were your hero? (Allow responses) Sometimes we look to sports figures, musicians, actors and even Christian leaders and make them our heroes. Have any of the people you looked up to always lived a life that reflects Godly values? From our limited perspective they may seem like they always do the right thing. Unfortunately humans have sinful natures and will not always do the right thing. Even if they did (which they can’t) our focus needs to be completely on Jesus. When we turn the spotlight on Jesus we will never find sin. He always did the right thing and acted in a way that pleased His Heavenly Father. John the Baptist knew that the spotlight of human affection needed to be directly on the Lord Jesus. If you are a believer, everything you do should cause others to see Jesus. The spotlight cannot be upon you because you are not able to stand up under the heat of that light. (Any success you may have has been allowed by God for the purpose of others seeing His greatness.) Only God can receive that fame because He alone deserves every ounce of praise that comes from anyone’s lips.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 2 Chronicles 26. When we study Israel’s Kings we see our own sinful natures as we discover truths from their examples. Today we are going to examine the life King Uzziah.
Read 2 Chronicles 26:1-2. Who is the new king of Judah? (Uzziah also called Azariah in 2 Kings 14:21-22; 15:1-6) How old was Uzziah when he was made king? (16)
Read 2 Chronicles 26:3-5. In verse 3 how long was Uzziah king over Judah? (52 years) In verse 4 what do we learn about Uzziah’s relationship with the Lord? (He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of the Lord. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.)
Zechariah is the son of Jehoiada the priest. (Jehoiada was a Godly influence in the life of Joash. 2 Chronicles 23-24:16) How was Zechariah’s influence important in the life of Uzziah? (He taught him how to fear God.)
- Who are your main influences in your life? Do they influence you to be more like Jesus or not? (People who influence you to be more like Jesus will teach you how to study His Word and will try to set a godly example for you to follow.)
2 Chronicles 26:6-8 Uzziah fought against the Philistines who were long time enemies of God’s people. Read verse 7. Who helped Uzziah win the battle? (God) Read verse 8. Why did Uzziah become famous? (He had become powerful)
In our world famous people are a reality. Can you name some famous people? Why do you think God allowed Uzziah to become famous in his day? (Allow responses) Uzziah is an Israelite (God’s chosen people). Everything God did through His people (Israel, Jews) was to show the world He is the One True God. From the Jewish people God would send the Savior of the world. Uzziah’s great fame and power allowed other nations to see the greatness of the God of Israel.
- Our life purpose is to glorify God (make His Name famous) and to enjoy Him forever. How are you living your life to make God famous?
2 Chronicles 26:9-10 We learn from these verses that Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem and strengthened a wall that had been damaged in an earlier battle (2 Chronicles 25:23). He dug many wells because he owned many farm animals (livestock). God’s word tells us something that Uzziah loved. What does the end of verse 10 say he loved? (The soil)
I love how God included this information about Uzziah. It gives us insight that God created us to enjoy the life we live. We all have different interests or hobbies. Uzziah was a king over the people of Judah. It was a huge responsibility to lead God’s people. Maybe he found working in the garden from time to time a relaxing peaceful way to unwind from the stress of being king.
- Our hobbies (the things we love) can be a blessing in our lives as long as we don’t make them more important than our relationship to Jesus. He deserves our whole heart.
2 Chronicles 26:11-15 Uzziah created a large powerful army. He provided weapons and armor for his entire army. Read verse 14. What did skillful men design for Uzziah’s army? (Machines to use on the towers and corners that shot arrows and hurled large stones) In verse 15 Uzziah’s fame is spreading all across the land. God was helping Uzziah and it was because of Him that Uzziah was a powerful king.
- God has given every believer all the armor they need to fight in the battles of this life. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
2 Chronicles 26:16. This is such an unfortunate verse. Uzziah forgot who was giving him power and became puffed up with his own pride. Pride is sin because it causes us to rise up and take the spotlight away from God (Isaiah 14:12-15). Humility keeps us on our knees so the spotlight shines brightly on the King of Kings!
- In order to keep the spotlight on Jesus at all times believers have to guard their hearts (Proverbs 4:23) against pride and the sinful idea that somehow we came to be famous for any reason other than to make God’s Name famous.
Uzziah’s sinful pride made him believe he could do anything because he had so much power. He decided to offer incense in the Lord’s temple. God’s law allowed only priests who had been called and consecrated (set apart) by God for this holy work. (Exodus 30:30, 40:15, Leviticus 22:9, Numbers 3:10, Numbers 18:7)
2 Chronicles 26:17-23 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests urged Uzziah not to sin by going into the temple. Read verse 18 to see what they told Uzziah.
Uzziah clearly heard the truth from God’s Word what he should do. He had an opportunity to respond by repenting from his wickedness or continuing in his rebellion. Let’s read verse 19. Sadly, Uzziah was so filled with himself and a false belief that he had power to do anything he wanted. Uzziah’s sin of pride led him to think he knew better than God did.
God punished Uzziah’s rebellion by instantly causing leprosy (a skin disease) to appear on his forehead. During Bible times if God’s people had leprosy it was symbolic of sin. People with leprosy were considered unclean and could not live among people who did not have leprosy.
When Azariah and the other priests saw the leprosy on Uzziah’s forehead they knew that Uzziah was being punished by God and grabbed him and hurried to get him out of the temple. (God showed Uzziah mercy by not putting him to death immediately Numbers 3:10, 18:7) Uzziah eagerly left with them because he knew that God had punished him for his sin of entering the temple and performing an act of worship that only God’s priests were allowed to do.
- To avoid allowing our sinful hearts to think we can live life our way and ignore God’s ways is to guard our hearts. We must continuously study God’s Words (Psalm 119:11) so we are familiar with what He says we should live our lives like. If you are a believer the Holy Spirit will convict you if you are heading in a direction that is not the direction God wants you to go. He (the Holy Spirit), like the priests in Uzziah’s life will warn you not to go down your sinful path. You must choose to repent and obey to live a life that points others to God.
Uzziah’s story begins with fame and power and ends with shame. Because he had leprosy he had to live separate from the lives of the people of Judah. Uzziah’s story would have ended differently if he kept the spotlight on God instead of thinking it belonged on him. We have a choice how the story of our lives will be written. We can walk daily with God and in obedience to Him so at the end of our lives all that we have done in this life has pointed others to Jesus. That’s the best ending for any person for anyone who believes in Jesus.
If you are not a believer, today is the day of salvation. Jesus died on the cross for your sins. He was buried and rose again. By believing that Jesus paid for your sins when He died on the cross God cleanses you and gives you the Gift of eternal life. The moment you believe that Jesus saved you from your sins, the Holy Spirit comes into your life and enables you to live a life that pleases God. Please talk to us if you have any questions about how you can become a believer after we pray.
Close in prayer.
- How old was Uzziah when he became king? (16)
- Which kingdom did Uzziah reign over? (Judah)
- Who taught Uzziah to fear the Lord? (Zechariah)
- What did God give Uzziah as long as he sought Him? (Success)
- What led to Uzziah’s downfall? (Pride)
- Why were the priests urging Uzziah to leave the temple? (He was planning to burn incense which was not something he was allowed to do in the temple)
- How did God punish Uzziah? (He gave him leprosy)
- How can you point others to Jesus in your life this week? (Answers will vary)