The Leprosy of Pride
Scripture reading for April 30th: 2nd Chronicles 28-30
We often think that if God would bless us with finances, defeat all of our enemies, and give us long life, power and honor that we would be happy forever. And God has told us that He will bless those who are obedient to Him. He is looking for those whose heart is sold out to Him. However, success and honor and material blessings sometimes turn our heart away from the Lord. They expose hidden motives and pride that can cause trouble. Our enemy Satan is always looking for ways to entice us into idolatry or rebellion. Today’s reading has some interesting lessons.
King Uzziah came to the throne at sixteen years of age. He had a godly mother who was from Jerusalem and a godly priest named Zechariah who taught him to fear the Lord. Uzziah was a mighty warrior and military strategist who was made successful by seeking the Lord. He designed weapons of war and had a well-trained army. He became very famous and powerful as he relied on the Lord. (2nd Chronicles 26:4-5, 14-15)
However, when he became famous and powerful, pride led to his downfall. He became unfaithful to the Lord. He entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the sacred altar of incense. Azariah the priest and eighty others begged him not to do this because he was not a Levite or priest. As he was raging against the priests in the temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. (2nd Chronicles 26:19-21) He had leprosy until the day he died. There is no record of repentance or a humbling of his heart.
This sad story teaches us that we can be blessed by the Lord because of obedience and faith, but lose our soul through pride. Pride focuses us on ourselves and our own greatness and accomplishments. It takes us away from seeking the Lord and trusting in Him alone. It is interesting that Uzziah’s pride moved him to want religious power that God had not granted him. When confronted by godly priests, pride moved him to anger. He thought that his success, power and position permitted him to do what he desired. He would listen to no correction. He would not repent or ask the Lord for healing or mercy. Take warning today from this blessed king!