Azariah and Urijah, which are we?

Azariah toward Uzziah
But when he [Uzziah] became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Then Azariah the priest entered after him and with him eighty priests of the LORD, valiant men. And they opposed Uzziah the king 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 been unfaithful, and will have no honor from the LORD God.”
But Uzziah, with a censer in his hand for burning incense, was enraged; and while he was enraged with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense. And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous on his forehead; and they hurried him out of there, and he himself also hastened to get out because the LORD had smitten him.
And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate 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 (2 Chron. 26:16-21, NASB).
Urijah toward Ahaz
Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar which was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the pattern of the altar and its model, according to all its workmanship. So Urijah the priest built an altar; according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, thus Urijah the priest made it, before the coming of King Ahaz from Damascus.
And when the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar; then the king approached the altar and went up to it, and burned his burnt offering and his meal offering, and poured his libation and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. And the bronze altar, which was before the LORD, he brought from the front of the house, from between his altar and the house of the LORD, and he put it on the north side of his altar.
Then King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the evening meal offering and the king’s burnt offering and his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land and their meal offering and their libations; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. But the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” So Urijah the priest did according to all that King Ahaz commanded.
Then King Ahaz cut off the borders of the stands, and removed the laver from them; he also took down the sea from the bronze oxen which were under it, and put it on a pavement of stone. And the covered way for the sabbath which they had built in the house, and the outer entry of the king, he removed from the house of the LORD because of the king of Assyria (2 Kings 16:10-18, NASB).
Both kings acted corruptly in their worship and presumptuously thought they could change God’s plan for His temple. Azariah opposed Uzziah, but Urijah gave in to every whim of Ahaz. One priest was faithful to God’s will, while the other regarded the king more highly than God. One priest warned the king not to disobey God, while the other priest never opened his mouth to warn the king of his grave sin.
We have no right to corrupt God’s worship, and those who sit silently and allow it to happen bear great guilt. Are you like Azariah or Urijah? When those who seek change rebelliously force their way on the church, will you speak or sit silent?

The following two tabs change content below.

Phil Sanders

Latest posts by Phil Sanders (see all)

Share your thoughts: