Summary: to demonstrate how pride is dangerous and that we should guard against it.
The Pride of Uzziah
2 Chronicles 26:1-5,16-21
Primary Purpose: To state the importance of being humble and to guard against pride.
This may be one of those cases were Scripture understates the prosperity of a king. We haven’t seen a king that achieved both riches and military victory like Uzziah since the days of Solomon. Uzziah’s name means “Jehovah is my strength”. His kingdom and influence expanded. He provided irrigation for his crops and developed a new catapult technique that made him a greater threat. Assyria, who would become a vast empire was going through a time of weakness, so the threat from them was minimal. He was known as a man of the soil according to v.10 and had much livestock and vinedresser. God blessed him abundantly. The key verse is verse 5- “as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.” We’ve seen this over and over again. That God desires to bless us.
After a period of time, Uzziah begin to think more of himself than he should. Scripture uses three powerful words to describe his heart condition- proud, corruptly, unfaithful. This causes him to enter the temple and to burn incense without permission.
Early in the primary stages of the 1960 Presidential election, Senator John F. Kennedy told another senator he had dreamed that God had told him he would be the nominee.
The other senator said it was strange because he had the same dream and God had told him he would be the nominee.
The two senators told their story of the matching dreams to a Senatorial colleague, Lyndon Johnson. According to Kennedy, Johnson remarked, “I can’t remember tapping either of you for the job.”
Uzziah didn’t understand 3 important things about God:
1. God desires obedience, not just sacrifice. (1 Sam 15:22; Hos 6:6). In fact, our worship is worthless if we don’t use and be obedient to what we know. Obedience is our first act of worship
2. That God hates a prideful heart. He doesn’t require for us to think of ourselves as nothing, but he wants us to think of ourselves in proper relationship to Himself. Pride elevates self to a place of importance not meant for us. Pride indicates self-reliance instead of reliance upon God.
C.S. Lewis says of Pride, “There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. The vice I am talking about is Pride or self-conceit.” It is the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Pride leads to every other vice; it is the complete anti-God state of mind.
Prov 26:12 says that there is more hope for a fool than someone wise in their own eyes. It’s reminds me of a man who once went to the doctor he said:
“Doctor, I don’t know what to do,” said the new patient. “People shun me because I have delusions of grandeur.”
“We’ll figure this out,” the doctor said. “Let’s start at the beginning.”
“Okay,” the patient replied. “In the beginning I created the heavens and the earth. . . . “
3. God gives his grace to the humble. (James 4:6; Mic 6:8). Humility isn’t self-loathing or negative talk. It’s thinking correctly of ones abilities and value. Jesus warned us against exalting self. He says this in Luke 14:7-11. He was speaking against the obvious pride and self-centeredness of the Pharisees he says in v.11 “For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he would humbles himself shall be exalted.”