2 Kings 15:1-4: "In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, began to reign. 2He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 3And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. 4Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places."
King Azariah is also known as Uzziah. His story is given in greater detail in 2 Chronicles 26. He is mentioned in Isaiah 1:1 and 6:1 as well. He was a king who did great things for God, but he failed to get rid of the high places. One of the meanings for nevertheless is “in spite of that”. Though he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, it was short lived. In spite of the great things God was doing through Azariah, the old ways held him back. His trust in false practices overcame his faithfulness to God.
I am intrigued by this portion of scripture, especially after reading King Azariah’s story in 2 Chronicles 26. He was on track with the direction God had for him, “Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away.” I have to ask myself, “Do I have things, “high places”, interfering with my total surrender to God?” His was a success story gone wrong. That is not the story I want written for me. I desire to trust fully in Him, who has a plan and purpose for me. This takes me back to my favorite Bible verse found in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God, make me aware of any “high places” in my life that would interfere with your plan. In remaining faithful to you, my success story is to bring you glory.