Unusual Favor – Part 1
“He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God…” (2 Chronicles 26:5 NIV)
The reign of Judah’s King Uzziah began with great success and promise. A long, uninterrupted series of victories and national improvements spread his fame all the way to Egypt…
Do you know the secret behind Uzziah’s ability to succeed in everything he endeavored to do? The Bible gives the exact, very simple reason for Uzziah’s success: “God helped him” (2 Chronicles 26:7). A few verses later, to be more emphatic, the Word of God declares that “he was greatly helped” (v. 15). Some translations render this phrase “marvelously helped.”
The word translated “help” in both these verses comes from a Hebrew root that means “surrounded.” Whatever challenges or battles King Uzziah faced, God surrounded him with a wall of blessing. No matter which angle anyone took to attack Judah, or which difficulties arose, the Lord was there to help this extraordinary king. To attack Uzziah meant you had to take on God first!
God’s blessing was the secret behind all of Uzziah’s success. But was there a reason why God showed him such unusual favor? The Bible clearly affirms that the events leading to Uzziah’s success were not accidents of providence—such things do not exist in the spiritual realm. Rather, they were the result of something Uzziah was habitually doing. Scripture reveals that “he [Uzziah] continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he [Uzziah] sought the Lord, God prospered him” (2 Chronicles 26:5 NASB).
The Hebrew word translated “prospered” actually means “to push ahead.” As long as the king humbly looked to God for guidance and protection, he was pushed forward, surrounded, helped, and blessed by the Almighty. Who would not want to live as the object of that kind of a smile from heaven?
Note also the time period during which Uzziah was seeking God and enjoying such divine favor. It was “in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God.” This Zechariah was not the prophet whose book is included among the books of the Minor Prophets in our Bible. This Zechariah was another servant of the Lord who was also in touch with heaven and the invisible things of the Spirit. Zechariah’s friendship and influence were important to Uzziah because it was the prophet who kept stirring Uzziah to seek the Lord, which in turn brought the king success in everything he did.
What a blessing it is to have a Zechariah in your life! Do you have a spiritually minded friend who reminds you of the greatness of God and his promises? Do you have someone who stirs within you a spiritual hunger for more of God? We all need more than polite acquaintances or friends who share similar interests. In the day in which we live, we urgently need Zechariahs—people who encourage and inspire us to move toward God and away from the world’s enticing pleasures.
To be continued...
-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from The Life God Blesses)
Read 2 Chronicles 26:1-15.