Thesis: When we forget those who have helped us pride destroys us.
1. We want to talk about SOMETHING this AM that:
a. Deceives heart (Jer. 49:16). e. Brings men to destruction
b. Hardens mind (Dan. 5:20). (Prov. 16:18).
c. Brings contention (Prov. 13:10). f. Abomination to God (Pr.16:5).
d. Stirs up strife (Prov. 28:25). g. Looks detestable (Prv. 6:17).
2. The "SOMETHING" (not alcohol, sex, paid political announ.).....PRIDE!
a. C. S. Lewis: "The complete anti-God state of mind."
b. Augustine: Named pride as the greatest sin, pointing out that when man is proud he exalts himself and displaces God.
c. Pride is the original sin--motivated Satan, created good, to do evil.
3. The Bible is a book full of proud & arrogant people:
a. We could talk a long time about:
1) The spiritual pride of the Pharisees.
2) The sinister pride of Queen Jezebel.
3) The racial pride of Haman.
b. Explore dynamic of pride--obscure king of Judah (2 Chron. 26).
1) Name: Uzziah.
2) Although a MINOR king, he leaves a MAJOR message about Pride.
I. READ THE TEXT < Pausing to comment ... >
A. Uzziah Before He Became Proud (26:1-15).
1. VERSES 6-8 ................. Foreign affairs.
2. VERSES 9-10 ............... Domestic program.
3. VERSES 11-15 .............. Peacetime army (no cutbacks!)
B. Uzziah After He Became Proud (26:16-23).
1. VERSE 18: Only priests could offer incense (Num. 16:40).
2. VERSE 19: Raging against priest & 80 courageous men!
3. VERSE 23: Uzziah was buried "NEAR" his fathers, not with them.
II. TWO IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED FROM UZZIAH.
A. Good efforts can be ruined in one hour!
1. All the good of 52 years (v. 3) was destroyed in a single moment.
a. "I can go out and have this one drink--I'm not an alcoholic!"
b. "I can visit this person I'm not married to--nothing will happen! I know they're attracted to me but I can handle it."
c. "Other people do it. Why can't I? It won't hurt anything."
2. Uzziah not remembered for good he did, but bad (cf. Ecc. 10:1).
3. Illust. Remember the Women's Olympic Figure Skating last February? Like millions of other Americans I rooted for Nancy Kerrigan to take the gold. She didn't. No problem--she still did well--took the silver. Then the cameras caught her and the bronze medalist waiting for the awards ceremony. There was a hold-up while Oksalana Baiul, the gold medalist from the Ukraine, was getting makeup. Do you remember what Nancy Kerrigan said? "What's the big deal? She's just going to cry and mess it up again anyway!" I'll never see her as anything but an arrogant "prima donna."
B. Pride has a specific turning point (vv. 15-16).
1. Uzziah was "greatly helped":
a. By all the people of Judah (1). e. By Jeiel/Maaseiah (11).
b. By his mother, Jecoliah (3). g. By 2,600 fam. ldrs. (12)
c. By Zechariah (5). h. By skillful men (15).
d. By God (7).
2. Uzziah forgot where his help came from. And he fell. He fell hard.
a. If you're good at what you do you've been "greatly helped."
1) Whatever you have you've been given--by God/others!
2) The minute you begin to forget that ...
3) If we do not humble ourselves, God will do it for us!
b. Illust. The donkey awakened, his mind savoring something pleasant. He arched his neck, walked around with mincing steps. "That group of people," he said, "I'll go over and show myself to them." They took no notice. "Throw your garments down," he said crossly. "Don't you know who I am?" They stared at him in amazement. Someone threw a stone. "Miserable unbelievers!" he muttered as he turned away in rage. "I'll go down to the market. Some good people are sure to be there." But it was the same. "The palm branches! Where are the palm branches? he shouted. "Have you forgotten?" Dazed he returned to his mother. "Foolish child," she said gently. "Without him you can do nothing."