2 Chronicles 26:1 (After King Amaziah died) all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king to succeed his father Amaziah. 2 He rebuilt Eloth and restored it to Judah, after the king slept with his ancestors. 3 Uzziah 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. 4 He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
If you’re reading along with me in 2 Chronicles you’ll notice it’s a re-telling of the stories of the kings of Judah and Israel. Some of the kings are good and faithful, others are not. One clue as to the faithfulness of a given king is the number of years the person ruled. Some of the kings ruled a very short time, like maybe a few years. Other kings were diligent in following the ways of the Lord and ruled much longer. A typical reign for a good king was 40 years. V.3 in our passage tells us that Uzziah reigned 52 years. Wow! That’s a really long time. So, that got my attention in this passage.
The second thing I notice about our passage is in v.5, “9 (Uzziah) set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God…”. As was true of King David, who had the prophet Samuel to guide him, Uzziah had a spiritual mentor in Zechariah. That kind of mentorship is invaluable, especially for a young leader like Uzziah who was only 16 when he was made king. The fact is that younger men need older men to help guide them through seasons of life, to encourage them and speak hard truths to them when the situation calls for it.
I had the privilege of knowing several older men who helped me in my younger years. These men took time to encourage me, invest in me, challenge me. And now that I’m over 50 years old I get to pay it forward, functioning as a mentor for younger men in my relational orbit. It’s one of the greatest things I get to do with my life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the guides and mentors you’ve provided for us over the years. Life would be so much more difficult without them. And give us grace to say yes when we have the opportunity to mentor others. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.