Like father, like son. That’s the tale of Amaziah and Uzziah (also known as Azariah). Both started out well, but then gave into their own pride.
In Uzziah’s case, he got some godly counsel from a man named Zechariah (not to be confused with the prophet Zechariah) who taught him to fear the Lord early in his life. And because he sought the Lord, it says in verse 5 of II Chronicles 26 that God gave him success.
He was able to defeat the Philistines, the Arabs, the Menuites, and the Ammonites. He had a very strong army, and became a very powerful king.
But in verse 16 of the Chronicles passage, it says
But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.
The Kings account just brushes over the event, merely saying he got leprosy. But the Chronicles account tells exactly what happened. In his pride, Uzziah decided to do what only the priests were allowed to do, to offer incense inside of the temple.
Perhaps Uzziah thought to himself, “I’m a good guy. I love God too. Why shouldn’t I do this?”
The priests tried to dissuade him from disobeying God in this, but he refused to listen, and just as he was about to offer the incense, God struck him with leprosy. When Uzziah saw this, he quickly departed from the temple, and lived out the rest of his life with this disease. Not only that, he had to basically give up the throne, letting his son Jotham reign in his place, while he lived in a separate house, never to enter the temple again.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18).
Uzziah learned this too late.
How about you? Do you let your pride get the best of you? It can and will destroy everything you build up in your life, if you allow it to. It destroys relationships, reputations, and legacies.
But if we remain humble, submitting ourselves to God, we will find blessing.
As James wrote,
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
Let us destroy the pride in our lives, before it destroys us.