“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.” (2 Chronicles 26:16)
In Numbers 18:1-7 the Bible tells us that only the men of Aaron's tribe (the Levites) were allowed to go into the “Holy of Holies” to burn incense and to make offerings to the Lord (See also: Exodus 30:1-7). However, here we see Uzziah going into the Temple of the Lord and doing what he is not allowed to do. Why? The answer is “pride.” Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride brings about some negative consequences. It sets us up for a fall. It causes us to turn away from God. It causes us to look down or with disrespect on other people. Pride causes pain, anger, and destruction. “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” (Psalm 10:4). Humility bring about benefits, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited” (Romans 12:16).
Uzziah, in this passage, willfully violates the instruction of God and goes into the temple to offer incense. And in doing so, is punished with leprocy for the rest of his days.
If we are prideful, does God strike us with leprosy today? No, but what He does do is found in Romans 1:24 when the Word reads “God gave them over to the desires of their hearts.” In our sinful pride, when we try to play God, He will give us over to our own desires. We are left on our own. We then are seeking our own thoughts instead of the thoughts of God. And we will fall.
Question: Who’s thoughts are you seeking?
Challenge: Take a pride inventory. Are you being humble before the Lord?
Prayer: Father, I am a sinful person. My thoughts are not Your thoughts. Forgive my sin of pride and humble me before You that I might serve You. Amen.
Craig Stout, Chapel Leader -- Princeton Whistlepigs