2Kings 15; 2Chronicles 26
Today I read about King Uzziah (also known as Azariah) of Judah. The Bible records that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, for the most part. He became very powerful through the word of the Lord. He consulted the Lord through Zechariah. He built large defensive towers and even engineered new weapons that threw stones and arrows from up high. Yet what he is most remembered for are not his many accomplishments or his long reign as king (fifty-two years). Instead, he is remembered for his pride and his audacity.
Uzziah waltzed into the temple himself to burn incense to the Lord. Now to us this may not seem a big deal, but to the Israelites it was a direct challenge to God’s law which made the temple set apart — only priests were allowed to burn incense. The moment he tried to take this duty on himself, he came down with leprosy and had it until the day he died.
All the adoration he’d had as king drained away as he was forced to live in an isolated house. His son stepped in and did all the interactions with the public.
The lesson for me is two-fold: pride goes before a fall…and don’t try to step in and do a job that is clearly not mine to do. I have a tendency to just come into a situation and “take over”. The times I have attempted to put together something that needed assembly have been disastrous….like the time I was impatient with the fact that my husband had not yet put together a dollhouse for our daughter. I decided to do it myself…and promptly ruined it beyond repair. (What possessed me to think I could handle the assembly of a complicated wooden dollhouse? Ack! I can’t even properly assemble a gingerbread house kit without help!) Thankfully, I didn’t break out in leprosy due to my misguided impatience and pride the way Uzziah did…but I did ruin a little girl’s dollhouse! Its misshapen form mocked me from its perch in the garage every time I parked the car until finally during one of our moves it “accidentally” was thrown in the trash. I still cringe at the memory of that teetering, old, wobbly work of my impatient hands.