The LORD blesses him further with victories and prosperity. He has military and agricultural blessing. First there is military blessing. Uzziah’s first acts of war are directed against the Philistines (verse 66Now he went out and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in [the area of] Ashdod and among the Philistines.). These enemies are closest to him. They live in the border area and are a constant threat. They are a picture of the nominal Christians, people who are also a great threat to the true Christians, because they are so close to the true Christians in their confession, while their hearts are far from the truth.
Uzziah breaks down the walls of some cities of the Philistines. In the spiritual sense, it suggests that the arguments that nominal Christians use for their erroneous teachings and wrong practices are unmasked and rejected by God’s Word. We can think of the foolish reasoning that God is love and that ‘thus’ all love is from God. This is without shame applied to, for example, a homo-sexual relationship. But God’s Word condemns such a relationship. Uzziah is helped by God (verse 77God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur-baal, and the Meunites.). We can also count on His help when we resist the enemies of God and His Word. Such action compels respect (verse 88The Ammonites also gave tribute to Uzziah, and his fame extended to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong.).
After dealing with the threats from outside Uzziah focuses on his land. He also starts there with buildings to protect God’s center of worship. Hostile powers are particularly concerned with this. Therefore Uzziah builds some towers in Jerusalem and fortifies them (verse 99Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and at the Valley Gate and at the corner buttress and fortified them.). Towers are lookout points to signal possible danger from afar, so that precautions can be taken. We can compare these towers to the warnings in the New Testament where we are told to look out for or heed people with wrong teachings and practices (Acts 20:2828Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.; 1Tim 4:1616Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.).
Uzziah is not only active in the city and for God’s sanctuary, but also in the wilderness (verse 10a10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. [He also had] plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.). Our lives do not only take place in the sanctuary, but also in the world. Towers are also needed in the wilderness, which means that vigilance is required in our daily lives (1Pet 5:88Be of sober [spirit], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.). Furthermore, Uzziah hews many cisterns in the wilderness to water the much livestock he has. We also need the refreshment from God’s Word to keep our service to the Lord in offering sacrifices – for which livestock, among other things, serve – fresh. That takes effort, we have to ‘hew’ or dig for it into the Word of God.
The life of Uzziah not only consists of defending and surviving in the wilderness, but his heart also goes out to the hill country and the fertile fields (verse 10b10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed many cisterns, for he had much livestock, both in the lowland and in the plain. [He also had] plowmen and vinedressers in the hill country and the fertile fields, for he loved the soil.). His heart goes out to the same as where God’s heart goes out to (Deu 11:1212a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.). He loves God, He loves the land and He loves the people. Uzziah is a king-farmer with plowmen and vinedressers who he uses on the hill country and the fertile fields. It is his concern to harvest the rich fruit of the land as a sacrifice to God (Deu 26:6-116And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us.7Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression;8and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders;9and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.10Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O LORD have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God;11and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household.) and as food for the people (Ecc 5:88If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them.).
In this way the Lord also wants to use us as plowmen and vinedressers. This happens when we occupy ourselves with His Word in order to gather from it the rich fruit for which we want to worship Him and share it with His own. That works food and joy.
Then the chronicler returns to Uzziah’s army (verse 1111Moreover, Uzziah had an army ready for battle, which entered combat by divisions according to the number of their muster, prepared by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s officers.). Thereby the reference to Uzziah’s love of agriculture is enclosed by two communications about his military strength. It tells us that we can only enjoy the riches of the land, the fruits it produces – these are for us the blessings of the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:33Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,) – if we are capable fighters for the truth. We must be strong “in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:11You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.) and “as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2Tim 2:33Suffer hardship with [me], as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.) fight the battle.
In battle, “the total number of the heads of the households” (verse 1212The total number of the heads of the households, of valiant warriors, was 2,600.) is needed, no one may be missing, no one may evade it. These are those who occupy a responsible place in God’s people. They are themselves valiant warriors and have command over “an elite army …, who could wage war with great power” (verse 1313Under their direction was an elite army of 307,500, who could wage war with great power, to help the king against the enemy.). It is also important in the spiritual struggle we are facing that there are good examples and good followers. The entire army must “help the king against the enemy”. Thus the Lord Jesus uses the believers to resist the enemy in his attempts to attack the church and deprive it of its blessings.
Uzziah has prepared for all the army – there is emphatically “all the army” – with all possible weapons to defend and attack (verse 1414Moreover, Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and sling stones.). The weapons made available to us by the Lord Jesus are not carnal, but spiritual (2Cor 10:3-53For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.5[We are] destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and [we are] taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,; Eph 6:10-1810Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil [one].17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,). Uzziah pays special attention to Jerusalem in order to strengthen the city with engines of war (verse 15a15In Jerusalem he made engines [of war] invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he [was] strong.). Jerusalem is the center of worship and therefore the great target of enemy attacks. Uzziah realizes that and for that reason makes a fortress of the city. A place of worship is therefore also a protected and therefore safe place.
The tools of war are “invented by skillful men”. It requires a special ability to devise a spiritual defense system for attacks on the center of Christian life, the worship of the Father. This defense system is found in the Word of God. If we arm ourselves with God’s Word, we will see the attacks coming and we will also know how to repel them. Every believer must know his own weaknesses and be particularly vigilant there.
All the activities of Uzziah that we have seen before, give him a fame that is widely known. He owes this not to himself and his efforts, but to the LORD who “marvelously helped” him. That has brought him to a height of fame and power. The last words of verse 15b15In Jerusalem he made engines [of war] invented by skillful men to be on the towers and on the corners for the purpose of shooting arrows and great stones. Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he [was] strong., introduced with the word “until”, are a turning point and herald a dramatic change.