f you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Chronicles 26, Revelation 13, Zechariah 9, John 12. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 2 Chronicles 26.
The life story of Uzziah is a sad one. It is about a man with great potential whose reign as king began in spiritual victory but whose life ended in disgrace. Although he became king at the tender age of 16 (v. 1, 3), he was graced with a godly advisor and mentor in the person Zechariah (v. 5). Although Zechariah “instructed him the fear of God” (v. 5b), it was Uzziah’s choice to follow the Lord in obedience or not. Every king in Judah and Israel had the power to do what he wanted. The priests and the prophets and good advisors could speak truth to the king and urge him to obey God’s word, but they had no power to stop an ungodly king from ungodly actions. Uzziah began his reign by listening to Zechariah’s godly advice and using the stewardship of power as king for good. What was the result? “As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success” (v. 5).
That success was defined by his military wins (vv. 6-7), the voluntary submission of the Ammonites (v. 8a), widespread fame (v. 8b), great building projects (vv. 9-10), and a powerful, well-equipped army (vv. 11-15). What an impressive resume!
Unfortunately, Uzziah read (and believed!) too much of his adoring press coverage. He began to believe that his success was a testament to his skill and wisdom rather than the blessing of God on his obedience. As a result, “his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God” (v. 16b). His pride expressed itself in his attempt to be both priest and king (vv. 17-19a). God brought judgment on his head (literally, v. 19b) for his pride and his once-good spiritual leadership ended in disgrace.
I wish this were only Uzziah’s story but it isn’t. Too many servants of the Lord have gotten high on the success God granted them and believed that it was their own wisdom and skill that achieved that success. God, however, has a way of humbling the proud by letting us follow our own desires and “wisdom” down a path of disobedience that leads to his discipline. As I’ve mentioned before, there are two ways to become wise: (1) learn from your mistakes and (2) learn from someone else’s mistakes and avoid those mistakes before you make them yourself. Let’s guard our hearts, then, against the sin of pride. Let’s remember that it is God’s blessing that causes our lives and ministries to thrive (v. 5) and to continually humble ourselves before him in full dependence throughout our lives.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.