“Honor OR Pride”
By Pastor Gerald Donovan
We all suffer from something that deceives our heart, hardens our minds, brings arguments, stirs up strife, leads us to destruction, looks detestable, and is an abomination to God (Proverbs.16:5). This something isn’t alcohol, sex, ethics, or our lifestyle but pride. C. H. Spurgeon said, “When destruction walks through the land, it casts its shadow; it is in the shape of pride. When honor visits a man’s house, it casts its shadow before it; it is in the fashion of humility.”
The Bible is a book full of proud and arrogant people: the spiritual pride of the Pharisees, the sinister pride of Queen Jezebel, or even the racial pride of Haman. In 2 Chronicles 26:1-23 there is an obscure king of Judah named Uzziah. Although he was a minor king, he leaves a major message about pride.
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. He did what the Lord approved, and as long as he followed the Lord, God caused him to succeed. God helped him in his campaigns against the Philistines, the Arabs living in Gur Baal, the Meunites, and the Ammonites. His fame reached the border of Egypt. He became very famous, for he received tremendous support and became powerful.
However, once he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. He disobeyed the Lord his God. He entered the Lord’s temple to offer incense on the incense altar. Azariah the priest and eighty other brave priests of the Lord said to him, “It is not proper for you to offer incense to the Lord. That is the responsibility of the priests, who are consecrated to offer incense.” Uzziah became angry. While he was ranting and raving at the priests, a skin disease appeared on his forehead right there in front of the priests in the Lord’s temple near the altar. Azariah the high priest and other priests hurried him out of there. Even the king himself wanted to leave quickly because the Lord had afflicted him. Uzziah passed away and was buried near his ancestors in a cemetery belonging to the kings. This was because he had a skin disease. We can learn important lessons from Uzziah. Good efforts can be ruined in one hour! All the good of 52 years was destroyed in a single moment, he is not remembered for the good he did, but the bad.
We often make plans without even consulting God. Then we pray and ask God to bless our plans, even though we didn’t ask him to take part in them. We just assume that our plans are his will. Then, when our plans don’t happen on the timetable we want or they don’t happen at all, we get angry with God. That’s called pride, and God hates pride. (Proverbs 16:5)
There are probably a lot of people you wouldn’t want to oppose, but you really don’t want to be opposed by God. There’s no way you’re going to win that one. When you’re prideful, the Bible says you’re in opposition to God at that very moment. In fact, you’re operating as an enemy of God anytime you get full of pride. That’s how serious it is.
Uzziah forgot where his help came from: from all the people of Judah, from his mother, from Zechariah, from 2,600 families, but most of all from God. He fell. He fell hard. If you’re good at what you do you’ve been “greatly helped”, by God and others, and the minute we begin to forget that; and we do not humble ourselves, God will do it for us!