When He Was Strong His Heart Was Lifted Up

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 25 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 22 – 24Psalms 111 – 115Proverbs 23)

Scripture Memorization for May – Romans 10

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Isaiah 51:11

Read a great article by Pastor Paul Chappell– “Launch Out

Read the “0523 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from today’s reading passage – “The Key to Prosperity“; and “Plenty More Where That Came From

“But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.” (2 Chronicles 26:16)

There is a lot of practical truth that we can glean from these Bible passages about the kings of Judah and Israel. In today’s reading, we learned about several kings: some of them good; and some not so good. In chapter 26, we read about a very good king, Uzziah, that was tremendously used of the Lord to strengthen the southern Kingdom of Judah. Early in his reign as king, he sought the Lord, and the Scripture tells us that God made him to prosper. He did a lot of wonderful things, and because he was submissive to the will of God, God blessed him and the nation mightily. I wish that was the end of the story; but unfortunately, the Bible goes on to tell us that Uzziah’s heart became lifted up with pride. He one day decided that he was going to go into the temple himself to offer incense upon the altar of incense. Now that was a job that was exclusively reserved for the priests. Sadly, Uzziah felt that he was so great that he could do whatever he wanted to do, even bypass God’s clear instructions regarding the worship in the temple. The priests immediately withstood him and rebuked him for usurping their God given role. He became furious with the priests. “Who are you to tell me what to do?” “Don’t you know who I am?” “I am the king, and I will do whatever I please” This was Uzziah’s attitude. God’s judgment immediately fell on Uzziah, and he became leprous in his forehead. He realized then that he had crossed the line, but it was too late.

We see this type of thing all too often in the Scripture, and we also see in the lives of Christians today. Many times, when a person first trusts the Lord Jesus as his Saviour, he is very humble. He is moldable, teachable, and can easily be corrected. However, as he grows in the Lord and is obedient to the principles found in the Word, God will prosper him. This prosperity will often bring about pride. Sometimes, it is so subtle that he does not even realize it. He takes the credit for the blessings that were given to him by the Lord. He begins to know more than his teachers, and he begins to pick and choose what he will obey, and what he will not. He begins to gradually seize control of his life away from God’s control. He slowly becomes his own God again, calling his own shots. When he gets to this place God will have to bring judgment in order to bring him back down to earth.

This does not have to happen. We can stay humble. We can continue to lean on the Lord, and not our own understanding. We can stay teachable, and moldable. We can continue to obey the Word of God, and the authorities that God has placed in our lives. We don’t have to head down this road that leads to self-destruction. Watch out for pride. It was Satan’s downfall; it was Eve’s also. Remember, she wanted to be as God, knowing good and evil. Pride is a big part of our flesh that must be put to death on a daily basis.

“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” (Proverbs 29:23)

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