As long as King Uzziah (aka Azariah) of Judah sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. No other ruler since the death of King Solomon two hundred years prior was more prosperous than he. His feats, including the cities he built and the inventions during his reign, made him known abroad, even to the border of Egypt. His rise and fall are highlighted in 2 Chronicles 26.
But he became proud of heart and presumptuously did what was plainly forbidden for him, yet ordained for another to do. Even when he was urged to change course and be obedient to God, he refused—choosing to do what he wanted, believing he had earned the right to have his own pleasure. In his rebellion, he was stricken with leprosy.
”Unto the day of his death, some years later, Uzziah remained a leper—a living example of the folly of departing from a plain ’Thus saith the LORD.’ Neither his exalted position nor his long life of service could be pleaded as an excuse for the presumptuous sin by which he marred the closing years of his reign, and brought upon himself the judgment of Heaven.
”God is no respecter of persons.” Prophets and Kings, (PK 303, 304)
The same is true today.