Daily D – 2 Chronicles 26:15-16
2 Chronicles 26:15, 16
In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. (NIV)
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!” (MSG)
Arrogance is among the foremost temptations of those who have unearned characteristics and those who excel with amplified prominence.
Uzziah was a smart and strong leader. His varied interests and his strategic planning and execution provided exemplary results. Take note of what happened when he made it to the top. Verse 15 says,
His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.
Uzziah was good. Very good. He was not, however, as good as he thought he was. He was not as significant as he imagined he was. He was not permitted to overstep his bounds, to exceed his limitations. He could not, in fact, do whatever he wanted to do whenever he wanted to do it.
Sinful pride leads us where we don’t really want to go. It shows us what we don’t really want to see about ourselves. It prevents us from accomplishing all the good we can do.
The first sentence in verse 17 describes the trajectory sinful pride leads us on:
- Use your unearned characteristics to honor God and to serve others.
- Use your talents and skills to build a better world.
- Avoid the temptation to think you are more important than you are.
- Do not cross boundaries imposed by God for our good and his glory.
- Know when to stop when you would prefer to get one more win, one more award, one more stroke to your ego.
He lived in a separate house—leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord.
Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.
I will humbly use the abilities God has given me to honor him and to serve others within the confines and contours of God’s plan for me.
Our Father, my life is not about me. It is not about making me look good. It is not about my comfort, my fame, or my prosperity. My life is about your plans and purpose for me in this time and place. I will not attempt to go beyond my limitations. Thank you for surrounding me with people who know when to step in and stuff my ego back in the box where it belongs. This is one of your best gifts. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.
Psalm 52:8, 9 ”But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.“