[column width=”1/1″ last=”true” title=”” title_type=”single” animation=”none” implicit=”true”]
1 Chronicles 23:16-23
The history of the nation of Israel shows that they rarely ever followed the commands of their God especially concerning how they were to worship God. They were not content to pray to the one true God Yahweh but instead built places of worship to other god’s and prayed to them (Isaiah 27:9). King Uzziah initially sought after God and walked according to His ways (2 Chron. 26:4–5) and the kingdom prospered under his rule. But toward the end of his life he forgot where his strength came from and trusting in his own strength, offered burnt incense in the temple, an act that was only reserved for the priests (Ex 30:1-10). The priests tried to warn him but he was persistent therefore God judged him with leprosy.
Here Uzziah was more focused on his will, his way, and his kingdom than he was of God’s. His sin was not only that he acted out of line with how God directed the incense to be offered but also that he had displaced God in his mind and heart. Perhaps this is why the judgment of leprosy came to his head first because it was in his mind that his pride was first birthed, then acted out by his hands. Uzziah fell victim to pride.
Incense is often symbolized as prayer and we can learn from this passage how we should approach our God in prayer. Are we attempting to pridefully stand in our own strength before Him demanding He answer our prayer because of what we have done? Do we approach the altar of incense desiring to force our own way? Do we approach the coffee pot to fuel us from long nights and early mornings? Instead of humbly going to our knees to offer our life, do we pridefully hover over our to do list? many ways as you can imagiJust as Uzziah we often ignore godly counsel and persist in our own way. In as ne, we forget God and try to pridefully force our will.
Christ laid aside His comforts to approach the hill of Calvary. Christ fell to His knees to surrender His will to the Father. Christ literally died to Himself to give us life. We are to be humble servants to our God, coming before Him boldly not on account of what we have done or to force our will, but because of what Christ has done in order to advance His Kingdom (Heb. 10:19-20). Prayer and pride don’t mix. May we die to ourselves and trust in our great Savior.
– Matt Bishop
Passages to Review:
Proverbs 18:12; 22:4