When He Was Strong...
Once upon a time, there lived a king whose name was Uzziah, the son of his father Amaziah, and he inherited the throne when he was only sixteen years old. His reign lasted for fifty two years, and during his early years, he sought the Lord and tried to do the right things. In turn, God prospered him in all that he did. God also helped him to fight against the Philistines, the Arabians and the Mehunims. He soon became famous among other nations for his military prowess.
However, when he was strong, he became proud, and disregarded the Lord’s command. He took it upon himself to go into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar which only the priests the sons of Aaron were allowed to do (2 Chronicles 26:16-18). The priests tried to stop Uzziah from committing the trespass against the Lord; however, Uzziah became angry with them. Immediately, the Lord smote him with leprosy. Uzziah became a leper for the rest of his life, cut off from God’s house, and died a leper.
Uzziah had everything going so well for himself: wealth, power, prestige, honor, and military might. Most important of all, he had God’s protection and favor on all that he did. It was God Who blessed and prospered Uzziah, however pride was his downfall. When he got strong, he forgot where his blessings came from. It was not his own doings but God’s loving-kindness and favor upon him that made him strong.
The story of Uzziah was a sad story but it depicts a reality that most of us face as human beings. Pride, the root of all sins, seems to plague mankind from the beginning with Adam and Eve until this very day. Many of us struggle in the area of pride in our daily walk with the Lord. That is why God hated pride, as it is an abomination in His sight. it is Proverbs 16:5 says “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” God Himself said He would resist the proud but promised to give grace to those who humble themselves before Him (James 4:6-8).
It was pride that brought about the Fall of all mankind because Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. It is still pride that causes mankind to commit sin against God thinking that they can get away with what they do without consequences. A proud person cannot have a close relationship with God because God only accepts the prayers of those who are humble and of a contrite spirit (Psalm 51:17).
All good things that we have in this life are gifts from God. There is no talent, ability, wealth, honor or wisdom that we have in this life which we can claim as our own doing apart from God. Therefore, it is very important for us to remind ourselves always to stay humble before the Lord. This is knowing that all that we have in this life are blessings from God, and to give him the glory that is rightfully His.
God is able to exalt an individual to a high status and bless him greatly if his heart is right before God. On the other side, He is also able to humble a proud person who exalts himself, taking credit for everything he has in life, not giving God the glory that belongs to Him. As God’s children, may we always stay humble and grateful to the Lord for all that He has so richly blessed us with in this life!