A Word to the Wise and Blessed
By Sharon Norris Elliott
We have heard the old adage: A word to the wise is sufficient. That means it shouldn’t take being hit in the head by a brick for us to understand a lesson. We ought to be able to hear of other folks’ foibles and avoid them by not going down those same roads. The iron is hot; don’t touch it or you’ll get burned.
The story of King Uzziah is an iron-is-hot-word-to-the-wise story. Second Chronicles chapter 26 lays out his meteoric rise and pathetic plunge. He gained the throne when he was only 16 years old. Since he “did what was right in the sight of the LORD” and “sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God,” we are told that “as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper” 2 Chr 26:4-5 (NKJ). In the 52 years that he reigned, the list of his accomplishments grew impressively:
- He made war successfully against the Philistines.
- He broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod (Philistine cites) and built cities for his own people.
- He had the Ammonites bringing him tribute.
- He built towers.
- He dug many wells for the amazing amount of livestock he had.
- He hired farmers and vinedressers because he loved the soil. (He was able to indulge his own passion and pastime.)
- He had an army of fighting men loyal to his cause for whom he supplied abundantly so they could carry out their task productively.
In all of this, “God helped him” (2 Chr 26:7), and “his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong” (2 Chr 26:15).
Uzziah’s story should have ended there on an up note, but alas, verse 16 reads,
“But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.”
After all those accomplishments, after all the praise and fame, after all that help directly from God, Uzziah felt the need to overstep his boundaries. When the priests tried to warn him about his trespass, he became furious with them (2 Chr 26:19). Immediately, God protected the office of the priesthood and the honor of His name, and punished Uzziah.
“King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death. He dwelt in an isolated house, because he was a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD…” (2 Chr 26:21).
No matter who we are or how much fame we have, God won’t allow us to dishonor His ways.
We have battles to fight, walls to break down, tribute to receive, towers to build, wells to dig, pastimes to enjoy, and loyal people who will fight for us for whom we can supply need. As long as we seek the Lord, God will help us, prosper us, and cause our fame to spread. It is His good pleasure to marvelously help us until we become strong. Consider these verses:
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 (NKJ)
Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (The Message Bible)
So a word to the wise and the blessed. God doesn’t mind blessing and helping us; however, let us not allow success and fame brought to us by God go to our heads. Just one moment of thinking more of himself than he ought – of stepping out of his lane – cast Uzziah into a shameful plunge from which he was never able to recover. We are to continue to move forward in God’s amazing blessings, but keep His will in view and keep His honor foremost.
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Live a life that matters! That's Sharon's encouragement to all her readers. Find her blog, books, and contact information through her website at www.SharonNorrisElliott.com.
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