“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father, but from the world.”
“But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.”
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,”
Jesus told us very clearly in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) what is expected of a citizen of heaven, living on earth as a Kingdom representative. He elevated a heart that is the opposite of proud.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart and the peacemakers.
- These are the warriors of the Kingdom – not the arrogant, the proud and the aggressive.
- Timothy warned that as time goes by and the end comes nearer people would be the opposite of the Kingdom Ambassadors –
- People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
John wrote that these things come not from the Father but from the world.
- For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the prideof life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
- James gives us this warning:
- But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proudbut shows favor to the humble.”
Let’s go to the Old Testament today and learn a lesson on the dangers of PRIDE.
2 Chronicles 26 Uzziah King of Judah
I am going to work through this chapter and tell you the story and make some comments as I go through it. You are welcome to follow in your Bibles.
26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 2 He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his ancestors.
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother’s name was Jekoliah; she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.
Successful in War
6 He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. 8 The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.
Successful in Civics and Engineering
9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them.
Economic Success – Agriculture
10 He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain. He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil.
Military Success – Logistics
11 Uzziah had a well-trained army, ready to go out by divisions according to their numbers as mustered by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the direction of Hananiah, one of the royal officials. 12 The total number of family leaders over the fighting men was 2,600. 13 Under their command was an army of 307,500 men trained for war, a powerful force to support the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army.
Scientific and Engineering Success
15 In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls.
His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. (Remember – he reigned for 52 years. No overnight success.)
SO What Could Go Wrong?
16 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.
- 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in.
- 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.”
- God sent others to warn him
- He had fair warning that God would deal with him
- But, what do proud people do?
- They justify themselves
- They blame others
- They never admit they are wrong
- They don’t repent easily
- 19 Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry.
- While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosy[c]broke out on his forehead.
- 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him. (Probably the worst thing that could happen to a proud person at the time – sickness, shame, shunned, pushed out, despised, total opposite of success.)
Reached the point of no return
21 King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house[d]—leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land.
22 The other events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah rested with his ancestors and was buried near them in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” And Jotham his son succeeded him as king.
What can we learn from Uzziah:
- God wants us to live in relationship with Him.
- All success comes from Him to the believer.
- Pride will destroy you.
- Heed the warnings in your life.
- It is far less painful to ask God to show you how to deal with your pride than to have Him deal with you.
- Pride comes before a fall.
- All are susceptible to pride:
- Sportsmen, businessmen, politicians, Pastors, leaders in any field,
- Racism, arrogance against the poor, never taking responsibility, never saying you are sorry; comparing who you are and what you have and may have achieved against others… Seeing yourself as more important and demanding than others do too.
- Any Christian can start to love the world.
- 1 John 2:16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
- Will you be courageous and stand up to pride in the body? 17 Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah…
- Will you repent of the sin of pride?
- 4 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.