Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 26:16-23. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 26:16 (NIV) 16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall…
On verse 16: Notice it was Uzziah’s pride, not his power, that led to his downfall. What can we learn from this? When you think you are powerful, be especially wary of pride. Powerful people are not necessarily prideful. You can be humble and powerful like Jesus, or you can be prideful and powerful like Uzziah. The choice is yours. That said, pride often affects us when we think we are powerful. So when things are going well, when your business or ministry grows, when you’ve got some accomplishments or experience under your belt, be careful not to let pride slip into your life.
2 Chronicles 26:16 (NIV) 16 …He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
On verse 16b: According to the Jewish law, only the high priest was allowed to enter the temple and burn incense on the altar. But Uzziah thinks, “I’m the king. I can do whatever I want.” Before, when Uzziah was younger, he knew his place as king and he had a good relationship with the priests of the land. In fact, Uzziah would sit under the teaching of the prophet Zechariah. But now that Uzziah was powerful, Uzziah thought to himself, “I don’t need to submit to a spiritual leader. I don’t need to be part of a church. I don’t care what the Bible says, or what God says, or what my pastors say. I can do things my way. I can be my own priest, my own pastor, my own church.” What’s the lesson here? Pride causes me to have a distorted view of myself, of God and of others.
2 Chronicles 26:17-19 (NIV) 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. 18 They confronted him and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by theLORD God.” 19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.
On verses 17-19: While Uzziah is getting ready to offer unauthorized incense, the priests try to confront Uzziah about his sin and Uzziah becomes incensed (pun intended). Instead of listening to advice, Uzziah loses his temper. What can we learn from this? Pride causes me to be unteachable, defensive and to lose my temper easily.
Also, while Uzziah is raging at the priests in the Lord’s temple, leprosy breaks out on Uzziah’s forehead. Uzziah doesn’t notice it at first, but the priests do, and eventually they rush him out of the temple, since no one with leprosy was allowed to enter the temple. What’s the lesson here? Pride is a disease where sometimes I’m the last to notice it in myself and quick to notice it in others. It’s hard to remain in God’s presence when I’m prideful.
2 Chronicles 26:21-23 (NIV) 21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house–leprous, and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. 22 The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah rested with his fathers and was buried near them in a field for burial that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.
On verses 21-23: Because of his leprosy, King Uzziah could not live with people, could not enter the temple to worship the Lord, and could not fulfill his responsibilities as king. His reputation became known as the one who had leprosy (v23). What can we learn from this? Like Uzziah’s leprosy, pride isolates me from others and from God. Pride keeps us from being the people God made us to be. If left unchecked, pride can destroy your life and derail your destiny.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us through Uzziah’s life how destructive pride can be in our lives. I pray that every day I would clothe myself with humility and teachability, that I would be more like Your Son Jesus, powerful but humble. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!