Three chapters, three kings in a row, each began well, but then. King Joash “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest (2Chronicles 24:2), but then Jehoiada died, “and they abandoned the house of the Lord” (2Chronicles 24:18). King Amaziah, “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart” (2Chronicles 25:2). King Uzziah “set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah” (2Chronicles 26:5). Zechariah instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God made him prosper. Each time, each king, something went wrong.
Uzziah’s name means “My strength is the Lord,” and from that strength came success. Enemies were conquered, the army grew strong, the walls of the city were fortified, the land was replenished and the people were well fed. Uzziah’s name became famous among the nations, but the meaning was lost. Rather Uzziah became strong in himself, “but when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction” (2Chronicles 26:16).
Uzziah could do it all. Well, almost all. Uzziah thought to show his glory by proclaiming, “I can be anything,” even a priest, but that’s not the way God works. The king is not priest, and only priests enter the temple and burn incense to the Lord.
Humanity’s first sin is pride, to be like God, without first knowing what God is like. Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Jesus Christ showed his glory by emptying himself, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). We call our leaders “public servants.” If only it were true.
“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~Mark 10:43-45
Heavenly Father, may I be a reflection of You in this world, which means may I live like Jesus. In humility, I will serve others, considering them before myself. Keep reminding me that You are my strength. I too easily forget. Restore me, O God, when I fail, but even more, guard my heart when I succeed.
When I reflect on Your wonder and glory, I love better. I’m terribly tempted to love myself, so it is good to worship, because I remember my Creator. May all that I do turn eyes toward You, that You may be praised by all.