Saturday, 23 October 2010

When he became strong

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. – 2 Chronicles 26v16

Martin Luther wrote something in his classic hymn ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’ that came a couple of thousand years too late for King Uzziah. ‘If we in our own strength confide our striving would be losing.’

Uzziah was an okay king. When he died Isaiah was distressed. But he had a major problem. As his power grew so did his pride. ‘When he was strong his heart was lifted up.’ But his heart being lifted up had a problem – it was ‘to his destruction.’

He went into the temple to burn incense to God. Burning incense was a good thing, but it was not his job. It was the priests’ job. Uzziah thought he was so great that he could do the job that God told the priests to do.

But he was wrong. For his pride he came down with leprosy. ‘Let him who stand take heed lest he fall’ was well suited to Uzziah.

I read the following in the Valley of Vision this morning. ‘May I love thee, my Benefactor, in all thy benefits, not forgetting that my greatest danger arises from my advantages.’

It is no wonder that God uses the weak, the base, and the foolish to do His work.

Let’s be careful that we never put confidence in our own strengths, talents, and abilities.

When we put confidence on our own abilities, our strivings are indeed losing.

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