“Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. … He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. … The Lord afflicted Azariah with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house.” (2 Kings 15:1-5 NIV)
What?! This man obeyed God, was a good king and yet it specifically says the Lord gave him leprosy – the most dreaded disease of that day. That stinks.
Where is the justice in that? How can God do such a thing to a man who is walking in obedience? It would be one thing if it said God “allowed” it but it clearly says God caused it. Can we even trust God to be just when He does stuff like this to a good king who is faithfully serving Him?
When I stumble on a Scripture I’ve found the answer is usually found somewhere else in the Bible. Lazy people simply scoff but if I will diligently search the answer is usually right there. (Proverbs 25:2) And that’s the case here.
In 2 Chronicles 26 we read the expanded story of Azariah’s life – and we find he was also called Uzziah. We discover that power went to his head. He became arrogant and rebellious. Right in the middle of a flagrant violation of God’s law he was struck with leprosy.
2 Kings covers over Uzziah’s sin. If we only know part of the story it looks like God is terribly unjust. What a message for me.
In this life I can never know all the story, all the details, the attitudes and motives of the heart – even my own heart. It is easy to judge that God is unjust, cruel or capricious. God looks unjust because he lovingly covers Uzziah’s sin in 2 Kings.
What a lesson on the importance of trusting His goodness and faithfulness even when He does not appear good and faithful. And what a lesson on not judging others. I have no idea what is going on in their heart, their life, their walk with God.
We cannot judge how a story ends until we have read the entire book. Yet, how many of us will foolishly judge the character of God when we are right in the middle of the story He is composing in our lives and the world around us.
Romans 11:33-34 (NLT)
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?