“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.” – 2 Chronicles 26:16
What a joy Uzziah’s life must have been in those early years. He was the king at 16 years of age. He was personally instructed in the fear of the Lord by Zechariah. His military successes were unmatched and his fame spread everywhere. He was a rock star…so to speak!
He was greatly helped…until he became powerful (vs. 13). Many times, with greater power comes greater pride. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, Prov. 3:34). Uzziah’s attitude ruined him long before his actions. We would all do well to heed this warning.
Uzziah’s pride lead to his unfaithfulness as he entered the house of the Lord. Unfaithfulness is linked to attendance when we do things our own way (vs. 16)! This unfaithfulness had its consequences.
Leprosy is not just a skin disease, it is way more than that. Leprosy manifests its symptoms outwardly on the skin, but the real damage is what is done inwardly to the nerve endings. Leprosy numbs the nerves. In other words, the individual loses all sensitivity and feeling. Pride is the leprosy of the Christian. It defiles and desensitizes. It destroys fellowship with others and one’s testimony in the world.
Doing things our own way has both short-term and long-term consequences. I think about Abraham and his first child. God had promised Abraham that He wouldmake him a great people. After some time, Abraham was persuaded to help God out by having relations with Hagar. In the short term it created a family division. Multiplied over thousands of years, it created the long-term world conflict that we experience today in the Middle East.
It is our choice: do things our way and face the consequences or do things God’s way and fulfill His purposes. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and he will make your paths straight.’