Daily D – 2 Chronicles 26:16
But when he became strong, he grew arrogant, and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the LORD his God by going into the LORD’s sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar.
2 CHRONICLES 26:16 (CSB)
King Uzziah was a high point in Judah’s list of kings. The first fifteen verses of this chapter describe his wise and strategic leadership. He had a mentor named Zechariah who helped him stay on the straight and narrow. God gave Uzziah success as he listened to this wise counsel.
Success upon success leads to the temptation of arrogance. Beginning in verse 16, we see Uzziah demonstrating what he thought was the next step in his display of strength. Instead, it was an overstepping of boundaries that led to a skin disease and seclusion for the rest of his life.
Arrogance isolates. The arrogant discover sooner than they would like that they have to give away what they worked so hard to collect.
Isaiah 6 begins, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple.” The six verses that follow are deeply dramatic. The scene for Isaiah had to be both beautiful and terrifying.
Notice the difference between the responses of Uzziah boldly going where he should not have gone and Isaiah overwhelmed by the mere sight of the hem of God’s robe. Uzziah looked up. Isaiah looked down.
Jesus teaches us to come into God’s presence as a beloved child (Matthew 6:9-13). He also teaches us to acknowledge God’s name as something to be hallowed, that grows in depth, meaning, and awe over time.
When we come into God’s presence in the right presence of mind, we see him for who he is, and we see ourselves for who we are. This is both humbling and comforting. He is God the Creator and Sustainer of all things. He is our Father in Heaven. He is the giver of all good things. We are his dearly loved children. We belong to him. Arrogance is never part of this equation.
Arrogance isolates; humility ingratiates.
Psalm 100:4 teaches us how to approach our Father:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Praise God for who he is. Thank God for all he does. Focusing on praise and thanksgiving keeps the spotlight off of us. It builds an impermeable barrier against pride and arrogance.
What can you praise God for today? What will you thank him for?
I will enter into God’s presence with humility, praise, and thanksgiving.
Our Father, thank you for wise mentors who have taught me and guided me. They asked me hard questions. They helped me discover the right answers. They showed me the way I should go. Empower me to serve others in this manner even as I continue learning along the way. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.