• By John Hicks

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall…


Please be patient and read through the story of Uzziah. There is a valuable lesson here that we all need to consider in light of past and current events and why our response as professing Christians is so important.

Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. [2] He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. [3] Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. [4] And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord , according to all that his father Amaziah did. [5] And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord , God made him to prosper. [6] And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines. [7] And God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gur-baal, and the Mehunims. [8] And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt; for he strengthened himself exceedingly. [9] Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall , and fortified them. [10] Also he built towers in the desert, and digged many wells: for he had much cattle, both in the low country, and in the plains: husbandmen also , and vine dressers in the mountains, and in Carmel: for he loved husbandry. [11] Moreover Uzziah had an host of fighting men, that went out to war by bands, according to the number of their account by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains. [12] The whole number of the chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two thousand and six hundred. [13] And under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. [14] And Uzziah prepared for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and slings to cast stones. [15] And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. [16] But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. [17] And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord , that were valiant men: [18] And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord , but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. [19] Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord , from beside the incense altar. [20] And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him. [21] And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord : and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land. [22] Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. [23] So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his stead. 2 Chronicles 26:1-23

When he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction…in other words, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). This is so true, especially when it comes to military might. Rulers can and will fall if they take the glory upon themselves in regards to any military might that they have created for themselves just as we saw in the case of Uzziah.

Many Americans, some being professing Christians, are big on chest thumping and bragging how strong we are as a country and they do so with a spirit of “look at what we made for ourselves”, much like Uzziah did. The President of the US seems to be leading this effort lately in his prideful boasting of the power that he currently yields. It would do us well to learn from the lessons shown to us in the Bible that we ought not to be so full of ourselves…

While on this topic, it would do us much better if we were to have a more compassionate attitude towards our enemies.

It really seems like we are more focused on killing the enemy verses actually looking for ways to save their souls.

From the looks of what is being pushed out onto social media and especially the blood thirsty comments coming from Christians I can only say we, as a country, are far from being close to being a Christian nation. We are instead a people bloated with selfish pride.

I understand the need to stop the enemy from killing others and I am not at all against defending the defenseless, etc. but our so-called Christian citizenry seems to be more chomping at the bit to ‘kill em all’ verses any concern at all towards the need for saving souls.

It is God’s desire that none perish but for all to come to repentance so as a Christian it should be mine as well.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

So to all you professing Christians out there, it would be nice to hear that you are concerned for the souls of your enemies before you go over there and rip their heads off.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Matthew 5:3-25, 38-39

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

And of some have compassion, making a difference:

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 21-25

As a side note, all of this chest thumping and desire to be the strongest in the world it would do us well to listen to what a former POTUS had to say about it:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. Dwight D. Eisenhower 1961


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