Article: PRIDE PRECEDES FALL | JACOB VARGHESE
2 Chronicles 26:16 “But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.”
Someone has said, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game and most importantly how you end the game”. Success is great if it comes from the Lord and is used for the Lord and His purposes. In the true sense success comes only from the Lord. Those who fear the Lord are blessed with God’s provision. As long as we seek God, He will make us to prosper; but only so long. At the same time success is a great danger if we don’t guard against pride. Pride is a condition that is common to all mankind. It doesn’t matter our age, ability, social status, or culture—we are all prone to exhibit aspects of this self-promoting attitude. What happens when blessings in your life become sources of pride?
I want us to look at an Old Testament character named Uzziah, whose life vividly reminds us of certain truths. At a glance on the life of Uzziah, we can understand the ways that God’s blessings can lead us away from Him, if we don’t guard against……! Uzziah reigned fifty-two years, taking the throne as a teenager. For many years his reign was impressive, but something happened and the results were tragic, both nationally and personally. By unanimous vote of the people of Judah, he was made king. His father had been murdered as a result of a conspiracy in Jerusalem. In2 Chronicles. 25:2, his father’s life story is summed up in one sentence “And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.”
In 2 Chronicles 26:4 We see “Uzziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done”. He sought God and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. Uzziah as a ruler, he won a decisive victory over Israel’s longtime enemy, the Philistines. He rebuilt the cities after his victories. God helped him win against others as well, and his name and power became well- known. He fortified Jerusalem against any invasion. He developed the land agriculturally, his army numerically, developed his men through training and preparation and incorporated the latest technology in defense of the kingdom.
Unfortunately, the blessings he received from God did not make him humble and thankful to God; they made him proud. When he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction… Pride overtook him and he became a rebel. He began to think of himself more highly than he ought to and forgot that it was God who had promoted him thus far. He didn’t think that he needed God any more. He came to think that he could do whatever he wanted, even if it was against God’s will. He lost discernment between the holy and the profane.
He crossed boundaries that God had set. God had established that only the high priest was to burn incense on the altar of incense. Even as king, he had no right to cross them. Though all of the priests warned him that he was violating God’s standards, but he didn’t listen. Pride had caused
Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom”.
Proverbs16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”.
him not to care what God had to say. He has violated God’s Word without regard for the consequences and was eventually punished with leprosy.
God judged him for his pride, he began to turn into a leper. When it became apparent that God was judging him with this horrible condition, the priest threw him out of the temple. He lost his kingdom and all of his power. He lost his favor with God and man; he was cut off from the house of the Lord…He couldn’t even enter to pray and now he was an outcast from the society. Once he was known for his great accomplishments and now, he was known as a leper until the day of his death.
The story of Uzziah shows the success of a man marvelously helped by God—until pride caused him to plunge sharply into destruction. This clearly depicts us if we take God off the throne of our hearts, we are in danger. We can learn a few lessons from this. God wants us to live in relationship with Him. All success comes from the Lord to the believer. All of us are susceptible to pride and it will destroy our blessed life. 1 John 2:16 says “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.” So, it is important that we do that which is right in the sight of the Lord, but not half- heartedly! We must learn to seek the Lord in everything we do; in our decisions for today and in our plans for tomorrow. But when He blesses us in our life, let us not allow His care to make us proud and to miss the spiritual insight.
People who achieve an extraordinary level of fame or reputation while they are still alive are often called “a legend in their own time.” A friend of mine who met many such people in the world says, they were only “a legend in their own mind.” Pride has a way of distorting how we see ourselves while humility offers a realistic perspective. Pride deceives us into thinking we can live life on our terms, without God. It makes us feel invincible to authority, correction, and weakness. But God calls us to humble ourselves before Him. As we turn from our pride and choose repentance, God will guide us
Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and
whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26–28).
toward total trust in Him.