Pride Goes Before Destruction

By Not Known

Uzziah was crowned king of Judah when he was only sixteen years old.  For many years, he sought the Lord and was a king celebrated for victories against her enemies − the Philistines, the Arabians, the Meunites and the Ammonites.  God gave Uzziah great prosperity and power, building towers, fortifications, cisterns and war machines. He also accumulated much livestock.  He had many ploughmen and vinedressers and even an elite army numbering 307,500 which could engage any mighty power.  His fame spread far and wide (2 Chron 26:1-15).

    However, pride proved to be Uzziah’s undoing.  When he became strong, “he grew proud to his destruction” and usurped the role of the priests.  He entered the temple of the Lord and burnt incense on the altar, openly defying God’s decree (2 Chron 26:16).

    Perhaps, pride had convinced Uzziah that God’s rule applied to everyone except him.  When he raged against the priests who told him what he was doing was wrong, the Lord struck him with leprosy. King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD (2 Chron 26:31).  

    If God has given us wealth, influence, popularity and power, be thankful but be careful too.  God hates pride and indeed, pride goes before destruction (Pro 16:18).  It is wrong to be disdainful of God or to look down on others.

    Uzziah is remembered more for his arrogant act and subsequent punishment than for his great reforms.  God requires lifelong obedience ― spurts of it are never enough.  Uzziah had probably overestimated his own importance in bringing about the great accomplishments he had achieved without acknowledging God.  He did so many things well that pride began to slowly consume his life until it finally destroyed him.  Uzziah had also forgotten how much God had given him.

    When people have power, they often think they can live above the law.  As Uzziah discovered, no matter what your position in society (even if you are a king), God expects you to honour, worship and obey Him.  Check your attitudes, and remember to give God the credit for what you have received.  Use your resources in ways that would please Him.

Joseph Teng