Text: 2 Chronicles 26
v. 3 King Uzziah was a young leader who got off to a great start
v. 4 Uzi was good leader who did what was right in God’s sight
v. 5 He sought God – in part because he had a godly mentor named Zechariah who "instructed him in the fear of God" (We all need mentors who teach us the fear of God!)
But later in life, something went terribly wrong. How does a good, god-seeking, righteous leader get off track and end up being judged by God?
One word: PRIDE.
v. 16 But after Uzziah became powerful,his pride led to his downfall.
Verses 6-14 describe the victories, growth, prosperity and favor that somehow led to pride in the heart of a godly leader. That’s a scary thought.
Here are 3 SIGNS OF PRIDE that caused a good man’s downfall:
1. Ignored the Rules.
Only the priests – descendants of Aaron – were allowed to enter the altar area and burn incense in the Temple. But Uzziah got out of his lane and did what he knew was off limits. Pride makes leaders think they are above the rules. Pride causes leaders to become one-man-shows who think they can do it all, because no one else can do it right. Pride is the root of the "man of God syndrome" that is crippling much of the church today.
It took 80 priests (v. 17,18) to confront Uzziah after he got out of his lane. EIGHTY people! Why not just one? I hope I do not become the kind of leader that it takes 80 other leaders to pin me down when I am wrong. I guess Hillary was right, it does take a village…to confront a proud leader. But it shouldn’t.
3. Angry when Corrected.
How did this proud leader respond to the confrontation by the 80 priests? He became angry and was raging at the priests… (v. 19). This guy who once was a young, righteous, good, godly leader – became an angry, intimidating, arrogant tyrant. What happened? PRIDE led to his downfall.
James 4:6 is perhaps the scariest verse of all on this topic: God resists the proud.
So, what do we do about this deadly pride?
There is a simple solution. James 4:10 says, humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.
Quickest way I know to humble myself is to admit when I am wrong. And we all face countless opportunities to do that every week.
***New post on my accidental missionary site: "Gifts for the Poor – You can Help"