It is one of the most alluring traps that the devil has, and it has caught some awfully good people along the way. We seldom see it coming in our own lives, and that is what makes it most dangerous. It blindsides its victims in the midst of prosperity. Suddenly, they are successful and wealthy in material matters and utterly bankrupt spiritually. Scripture warns us of its certain failure, but are we listening?
Uzziah was, by most standards, a success (2 Chronicles 26). He became King of the Lord’s people in Judah at the ripe old age of sixteen and served in that capacity for fifty-two years. God was on his side as he defeated the perpetual foe of Philistines, and his fame spread all the way to Egypt. His military might was second to none. He sat on the throne of authority, wielded great power and enjoyed a tremendous reputation. Then, disaster struck.
The devil that haunts all of us in prosperity claimed another victim. No external human enemy took Uzziah down. The Philistines did not conquer him. His army could stand up to them. No, it took an insidious internal adversary to bring him down: Pride. It infects the heart and leads outside of God’s boundaries in unfaithfulness which always brings consequences. Being the mighty king of Judah did not immunize him against the leprosy that took him off the throne and into isolation.
God had warned the Israelites long before Uzziah’s case that pride could be their undoing. Even prior to entering the Promised Land, He knew there was danger in the road ahead (Deuteronomy 8:11-20). He was leading them into a place where they would enjoy great abundance, and that is a fertile environment for a distorted perspective (verse 17). Uzziah was a living example. His legacy of military success was sadly overshadowed by his condition at death (2 Chronicles 26:23).
Jesus invited the weary and worn to come learn from Him (Matthew 11:28-30). We all experience it from time-to-time, that fatigue deep inside. A night’s sleep doesn’t cure it. A weeklong vacation is little help. No, it is far beyond any worldly cure because it is not physical. We need rest for the soul, which is what only He can offer. He doesn’t encourage assertiveness or aggression but to partner with Him in gentleness and humility of heart. It is worth noting that the invitation is to come to Him.
“Everyone who exalts Himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 18:14).” It is a 100% guarantee. It is as certain as the law of gravity, no exceptions or exclusions. Uzziah could vouch for the destructive nature of pride. Nebuchadnezzar could, too (Daniel 4:29-37). We live in a land of great prosperity, and pride is a persistent danger. The word of God warns us and shows us. Are we listening?