A Heart Lifted up to Destruction

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12

King Uzziah was a great and mighty king in Judah. He fortified the city of Jerusalem and became famous throughout the land. See how he is described in Second Chronicles. “4. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. 5. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:4-5). Notice the important part of this verse – as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.

Nevertheless, we see a great tragedy in his life. We can understand that King Uzziah forgot to seek the Lord, pleasing himself instead of God. As we continue, remember, “God made him to prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:5b). “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). We read that when King Uzziah was strong, his heart was lifted up. Notice it also tells us in the same verse (2 Chronicles 26:16), that was what led to his destruction. When his heart was lifted up, it caused him to “transgress against the LORD his God.

Toward the beginning of King Uzziah’s life, he did something good in his life, the principle of which we can read in the following verse. “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29). Nevertheless, we also see how he failed. He transgressed. When he was confronted with his sin, King Uzziah refused to repent and return to God. Read what he should have done in the following verses. “6. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7). Instead of forsaking the wrong he was about to do, he did what he wanted – and God struck him with leprosy until his death. 

Even today, we are warned not to think of ourselves better than we ought. “For I say … to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think …” (Romans 12:3). Remember, once King Uzziah’s heart was strong and lifted up, he thought more of himself than he should have – trying to do the job that was only for the priest. It was then that God struck him with leprosy. Uzziah could not have fallen any further than to lose his position as king, separated from all of his people, while he was still alive. He had to spend the rest of his life, estranged as a leper, with his son judging God’s people because Uzziah could no longer function as the reigning king.

What does the Bible say about pride? Does God like man to become proud? “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off” (Psalm 138:6). See also: “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). 

If one does become proud, what usually happens? See what Jesus said in Matthew 23:12: “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” How about the following verse? “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). More often than not, the proud person will fall flat on their face.

As long as King Uzziah sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. The same is true for Christians today. Instead of having to rely upon men like Zechariah (the prophet), we have the Word of God recorded by men of God through the centuries – the Bible. We have it readily available – if we will only seek God and His Word. See the following words of encouragement for any who are not sure what God wants for His people. “11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD …” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a). While King Uzziah sought God, God blessed. When he forgot God, God dealt with him.

Do you seek after God, understanding God will deal with you if your pride causes you to walk contrary to Him?

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