1/5/2016 LESSON 9
UZZIAH: A GREAT KING DESTROYED BY PRIDE
Quarter’s Theme: PORTRAITS OF JEWISH KINGS
Unit 3 – Portraits Of The Kings Of Divided Kingdom (Lessons 5-12)
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 258, 259
Devotional Reading: EZEK. 28:14-19
Topic For Adults
PRIDE GOES BEFORE DESTRUCTION
Topic For Youths
AN ANGRY RESPONSE TO CORRECTIONS IS PRIDE
Topic For Intermediates
GOD HATES PRIDE
2 CHRO. 26:3-21
(SOUL WINNERS CROWN COMPETITION MONTHS)
He was marvelously helped till He became strong. But when he became strong, his heart was lifted up, to his destruction that he acted corruptly. (2 Chro. 26:15b-16a) NKJV
DAILY DEVOTIONAL READING
God Gives More Grace To The Humble
Humility is the opposite of pride. While God resists the proud, He gives more grace to the humble. He releases more favour upon those who are humble both in heart and in look. God is attracted to those who are humble. He has respect and regards for their prayers. Humility exalts and promotes in due season (1 Pet. 5:6). If a man must have a good relationship with God, then he must be humble. Humility is recognizing that you need God’s help. It means putting God and others ahead of our interest. A humble heart recognizes God as the giver of life and all things. He gives praises and glory to God alone. A humble individual responds positively to corrections. He will check himself thoroughly for all issues with which he is confronted with a view to amend. He will not argue or get angry because he is corrected. God wants us to remember always that every good thing we have comes from Him. As you humble yourself before the Lord, He will certainly exalt you in due season. His presence will equally shield you. Humility pays. Do you need more of God’s grace and blessings? Then be determined to be humble. Please pray to God for the spirit of humility.
Point of Emphasis: If you need more grace, humility is indispensable.
Prayer Point: Lord, give me grace to be more humble daily and let Your presence shield me.
Uzziah was described in our lesson today as a great king who was destroyed by
pride. King Uzziah was a great achiever. He had unparalleled heroic
achievements. He was a hero, an inventor. However, a tragic mole was introduced into his character – pride. Pride is a devastating spiritual cancer. Once it enters the life of a great man, tragedy becomes inevitable.
NOTE ON THE TEXTS
PART 1: THE POWERFUL BEGINNING OF A MINOR (2 CHRO. 26:3-8)
Uzziah, also known as Azariah (1 Chro. 3:12), was the most successful king in the Southern Kingdom. He was the eleventh king of Judah. He was a minor when he became king. He was just sixteen years when he became king and he held the longest tenure (52 years) in Judah. The name Uzziah means “Jehovah is strength”. His age, experience and wisdom would not have earned him the level of success he achieved. He achieved success because God marvelously helped him (2 Chron. 26:15). God was actually the strength behind him.
King Uzziah started strong. He followed the good step of his father, Amaziah. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord. He sought God, and as long as He retained his dependence on God, he became successful. King Uzziah had respect also for the servant of God. He made Prophet Zechariah his spiritual mentor who instructed him in the counsel and fear of God.
Christians must realize that God is our strength and without Him we can achieve nothing. In fact, there is nothing a man possesses that he was not given. Even the life and soul in you is a gift and trust from the Lord. He is the giver of all good gifts and we must not lose sight of this. The more we depend and lean on Him, the more success we will record. We must seek the face, counsel and will of God through His word and prayers. You can achieve greater level of success if you allow God to direct you. It is also worthy of note that God has positioned some leaders and mentors around us to give us counsel in time of need. We must regard them and tap from the grace of God upon their lives.
PART 2: THE PROSPEROUS REIGN OF THE GREAT KING (2 CHRO. 26:9-15)
God gave Uzziah unusual wisdom for extra-ordinary performance. His achieve-ments were numerous. To the West, he subdued the Philistines (v.6); to the South, he subdued the Arabians (v.7); to the East, he made the Ammonites tributary without fighting a battle (v.8). Throughout his reign, Judah lived at peace with the Northern kingdom of Israel. He fortified Jerusalem by building towers at strategic points (v.9). He developed his natural resources by giving attention to agriculture for steady supply of food (v.10). He built up defensive forces of the nation, and raised an elite army of 307,500 who could wage war with great power. He invented engines of war (v.15). Uzziah became the most powerful king of his days, and his fame extended to the boarders of Egypt, for he became very strong (v.8). The secret of his success was not in his military and administrative skills. The key to his success is summed up in eight words: He was marvelously helped until he was strong (v. 15). We must equally realize that God is the strength behind our successes and without Him we can achieve nothing (John 15:5).
PART 3: THE PRIDE OF A FOOL (2 CHRO. 26:16-18)
King Uzziah became proud in his heart. His attention shifted from God to himself. He transgressed against the Lord by entering into the temple to burn incense on the altar. King Uzziah must have said in his heart “I have demonstrated strong skills politically, militarily and administra-tively. My achievements are visible and verifiable. It is time for me to show that I am not spiritually weak. Is anything special in burning incense? Can anyone on earth stop me from doing whatever I feel like doing?”
Pride is giving ourselves credit for something that God has accomplished. Pride is essentially self worship. The proud usually think they have no need for God or worse, that God should accept them as they are because they deserve His acceptance. A proud man is always looking down on others and as long as you are looking down, you cannot see anyone or something that is above you. Those who fail to acknowledge God in their hearts are referred to as fools, (Lk. 12:16-20). Please check your heart very well. Are there no elements of pride? Do you give glory to God for all achievements? Don’t act like a fool, be a wise believer.
The second problem of king Uzziah was that of unfaithfulness. He was no more faithful. Faithfulness is keeping pace where you are kept. He abandoned his duty post because he thought he could operate without restrictions. The instruc-tions of God were no more important to him. Services in the vineyard of God must follow acceptable patterns. He proceeded with his ambition and when the prophets challenged and corrected him, he became angry. An angry response to corrections is pride. Do you feel comfortable when you are corrected or you argue? Many were called into the teaching ministry but they have suddenly jumped into other ministries just because they want fame, recognition and money. Can you still serve under anyone or you are too big to be corrected? Please, check your heart and repent before it is too late.
PART 4: THE PUNISHMENT THAT CANNOT BE AVOIDED (2 CHRO. 26:19-21)
God hates pride. He is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the Humble, (1 Peter 5:5). God sanctioned the pride of Uzziah immediately. Leprosy broke out from his forehead. It came from his forehead so he could not hide the shame. Everyone will easily see it and learn from his experience. It is actually a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31). The consequences of pride cannot be avoided except you repent. He went into the temple as an arrogant king but left as a humbled leper. Sad enough, king Uzziah died as a leper and he was denied the burial of a king. He started strong but ended badly. What a lesson for our generation!
Pride is dangerous. Pride turned a great king to a leper. Even when he noticed that God was angry with him, he refused to humble himself and repent. His heart was still strong. That is another display of pride. Many are too big today to confess their sins. There are people who can hardly say sorry to their wives, husbands, children, younger ones and subordinates. Is this not pride? Beloved, beware of pride. Pride will rob you of your place and position in glory. It will reduce you beyond your imagination. Pride brings shame and reproach, (Prov. 11:2). It separates a man from God, (1 Pet. 5:5). Pride will nullify your achievements of several years in a minute. Ultimately, pride destroys (Prov. 16:18) Please, make humility your watch word.
Uzziah was one of the few kings in Judah with great and outstanding achievements. He was a minor when he became a king. He had no credential he could boast of. He therefore put his trust in the Lord. The word of God in Job 8:7 was fulfilled in his life. Because he sought God and trusted in Him, he was divinely helped. His beginning was small, but his latter end was very great. However, his achievements entered into his head and he acted corruptly. Thus, he met his waterloo. We are commanded to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. The tendency to be independent of God is a pride of the highest order. Remember, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
- What characterized the beginning of Uzziah’s reign?
- Mention some of king Uzziah’s achievements.
- What were the secrets of his exploits?
- What led to the tragic end of this great king?
- Briefly state important lessons we can glean from king Uzziah’s life’s history.