The Tragedy of Success
“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem.
“In Jerusalem he made machines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.
“But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.” (2 Chronicles 26: 3, 15-16)
Uzziah was one of the top five greatest kings in Judah and Israel’s history. He was king for fifty-two years and had many amazing accomplishments! These verses, and the rest of the passage, however, record Uzziah’s sad demise. His success led to his downfall. After going into the temple and trying to do what only the priests were supposed to do, God smote the king with leprosy. He spent the last eleven years of his life, locked away, his son reigning in his place.
This is sobering story for all of us. Everyone desires to prosper and to be successful. There is nothing wrong with that and those are good things. May we be people, however, who keep success in it’s proper place and stay humble before God and each other. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4: 6)
How teachable are you? Has success ever tempted you to do things that you know were wrong? Have you ever struggled with a feeling of, “I deserve this?”
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