Pride is poison. For most people, it slowly seeps in without much notice until it is too late. Uzziah became strong because of all of the machines he had for protection. They used the machines on the towers and on the corners to shoot arrows and big stones at enemies.
Uzziah sought the Lord and God prospered him. He had this great protection, but the safety and security bore pride in him. Uzziah was famous because of God. Uzziah was protected because of God. But then he became “arrogant and proud, he fell.” Things went to his head just like they go to our heads.
As pride got the best of him, Uzziah went into the Temple and he acted “like he owned it and took over.” This was the place God’s name resided. This was the Temple of God. There were rules. There were priests consecrated for this work. But Uzziah walked in there like he could do anything. He ended up being “unfaithful and a disgrace.” He forgot God prospered him. He forgot God is holy. He forgot all of this because he was full of himself. Remember my friend, you don’t own it—you don’t own anything. Continue to be thankful for how God has prospered you and never forget we are to be humble servants. No one is better than another—and only God deserves honor and praise.
“But then the strength and success went to his head. Arrogant and proud, he fell. One day, contemptuous of God, he walked into The Temple of God like he owned it and took over, burning incense on the Incense Altar. The priest Azariah, backed up by eighty brave priests of God, tried to prevent him. They confronted Uzziah: ‘You must not, you cannot do this, Uzziah—only the Aaronite priests, especially consecrated for the work, are permitted to burn incense. Get out of God’s Temple; you are unfaithful and a disgrace!’”
– 2 Chronicles 26:16-18 [MSG]
“David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.” – 2 Samuel 8:15
When I read this verse yesterday, I read it over a few times and focused on three words: just, right, all. It can also be seen as “justice and equality,” “judgment and righteousness,” and the word “fair” is even used (ESV, Youngs, GW). When we look at our leadership today, do we see these things? When we look at our government, do we see these things? I’m not going to respond further to the recent news, the recent questions that have arisen. If you are a leader yourself at work or church, could someone see these things with your leadership? If you are a parent, are these things evident?
Saul was king before David, and nowhere do we read that he was “doing what was just and right for all his people.” As we look at King Saul, we see impulsiveness, we see a man who did not have a heart for the Lord. When we look at David, we read again and again that he inquired of the Lord, and that he was a man after God’s heart. He had a whole heart for the Lord. As a result, he tried to do what was “just and right for all his people.”
There is a lot of news in politics today, having nothing to do with fair leading and justice, but a lot to do with possible scandals. There is unfairness in the workplace and even at church. In our homes, there is at times favoritism and injustice.
Today, let us focus our eyes on the Lord and inquire of the Lord just like David did again and again. As you get closer to Him, you will find that you will have no part in other things, but you will only want to be “doing what was just and right” with everything you touch.