2 Chronicles 26:22-23 The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried near them in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.
Father, as I type this lesson today, I pray that your purpose for this message will come forth. Remove all of me to reveal all of you. I am confident at this moment that your purpose and word will always accomplish what it set out to do. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Reading previous paragraphs (2 Chronicles 26:6-15) about Uzziah, one would say this brother had it going on. He was powerful, famous, wealthy, and God was with him. However, three words summed up his legacy, “He had leprosy.”
The people did not reflect on his many exploits or that he sought God. After reigning fifty-two years as king of Jerusalem, the nation’s last thought of Uzziah was “He had Leprosy.”
What went wrong? After all 2 Chronicles 26:5 says, “He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.” However, 2 Chronicles 26:15-16 says, “His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”
Uzziah began to wallow in his own might and foolish pride. Pride is a powerful weapon in which the enemy uses to take our eyes off Jesus. Proverbs 16:18 puts it this way, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” How often do we see celebrities being put on a pedestal only to be knocked to the depths of disgrace because of inflated egos?
Reading further in the text we see that Uzziah’s pride reached a breaking point as the priest confront him in 2 Chronicles 26:17-20 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah 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 the Lord 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[a] broke out on his forehead.20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him.
I believe we as Christians must pray for a spirit of humility like that of Christ (Philippians 2:8). Our talents and gifts come from God and should be used to glorify Him. Having the right perspective of who is Lord of your life and the fact that it is God’s grace that affords us status, must be enough motivation to posture humility.
It is my prayer that as we grow in Christ, we petition God to protect our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). That we seek refuge in His saving grace that surpasses all understanding. I’m reminded of an old gospel song by the legendary gospel quartet Slim & the Supreme Angels, “Lord bring me down.” The song petitions God to keep us from a boastful spirit by helping us to remain humble. A wonderful prayer indeed that requires humility.
Father, thank you for your words of life and the grace that has been given to receive. Thank you for the lessons of life we learn in pride or humility. I pray for a spirit and heart of humility in all circumstances. May our eyes and heart always remember were our help comes from. His name is Jesus and it is in His name we pray, amen.
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