Daily Devotional, November 23
Hoping to catch a prowler, the South Wales police published his image in a local newspaper. But the burglar was unsatisfied with the photo, so he submitted a better one, featuring him standing in front of a police vehicle! Police later captured and detained the criminal, thanks to his arrogant stunt. You might say his glamour shot led to a mug shot.
Like this bigheaded bandit, King Uzziah's oversized ego did him in. It's a shame too, because Uzziah was somewhat of a renaissance man. He defeated the Philistines, cultivated vineyards, fortified Jerusalem, and outfitted his elite military forces with some mighty fine weapons. Aided by God, his fame spread far and wide. When Uzziah became powerful, "he also became proud, which led to his downfall" (2 Chronicles 26:16). He barged into the temple and personally ignited incense on the altar. Only the priests were allowed to do this, and when they tried to kick him out, Uzziah "became furious" (v.19) and raged at them.
Uzziah wasn't the only one who was angry, God stepped in to defend the temple workers, zapping Israel's ruler with a case of leprosy. Instantly, Uzziah's status changed from famous king to lowly outcast. He lived "in isolation in a separate house" for the rest of his life (v.21), and lost his political power. Uzziah's life was a picture of this truth: "[God] will punish the proud" (Isaiah 2:12).
Still, like the conceited king, we're all prone to adopting an inflated view of ourselves and getting angry with people who try to set us straight. Fortunately, when we "humble [ourselves] under the mighty power of God" (1 Peter 5:6), we don't have to suffer the destruction that ultimately accompanies self-importance (Proverbs 16:18). Picture this, God loves a humble heart! , Jennifer Benson Schuldt
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