Pride’s Price

31 May 2020 PM – 2 Chronicles 26 – Kings20 – Scott Childs
Welcome: Welcome to our Sunday evening online church service.
Introduction: The story is told about a clever salesman who closed hundreds of sales with this line: “Let me show you something several of your neighbours said you couldn’t afford.” He was playing on their pride. Children and adults, male and female all struggle with pride.
            Solomon wrote, (Proverbs 16:18) “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Perhaps no one has felt the truth of that proverb more than King Uzziah. Pride’s price cost him his peace with God, his integrity, his health, and his life.
Transition: As we look at King Uzziah’s life, we find four praiseworthy traits that we ought to follow and one that cost him dearly that we must flee.
1.        He was a pious king (v.1-5).
a.         He had a pious heritage.
1)         His father Amaziah was a good king during part of Uzziah’s youth.
2)         His mother’s name Jecoliah means Jehovah is able. It is likely that she was a godly woman. She likely had a great spiritual influence on Uzziah.
3)         God allowed him to reign 52 years from age 16-68. Perhaps this was because he was pious much of his life.
b.         Much of his life he lived piously.
1)         He did what was right in the sight of the Lord (v.4)
2)         He sought God in the days of Prophet Zechariah (v.5).
3)         While pious, God made him to prosper (v.5).
4)         Evidently, when Zechariah died, Uzziah’s piety declined. This is a powerful reminder of the importance of getting involved in a church led by a Biblical pastor and following his leadership. (Hebrews 13:17) “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
2.        He was a prudent king (v.6-9).
a.         He depended on the Lord during battles.
1)         He led battles to protect his people.
2)         God helped him in his battles.
b.         He fortified Jerusalem
1)         He strengthened himself exceedingly (v.8).
2)         He built watch towers (v.9)
  • Prudence is practical discretion. It is making wise daily choices. Being prudent is one of the best qualities that you can acquire. (Proverbs 19:14) “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.” (Proverbs 22:3) “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
  1. He was a productive king (v.10).
a.         He built towers in the desert
1)         The word “towers” describes a structure that is either broad or high. From the height of these towers, guards could spot invading enemies. They could also spot thieves coming to steal their cattle.
2)         The great size of these towers may indicate that they provided refuges for his herdsmen and animals.
b.         He loved husbandry
1)         He had servants dig wells to water the animals.
2)         He had many cattle of all sorts.
3)         He had many husbandmen (farmers) and vinedressers.
  • God blesses hard work. Learning to work hard is another great quality to learn early in life. Being a good worker will help you throughout your entire life.
4.        He was a prepared king (v.11-15).
a.         He prepared a mighty army
1)         He had a host of fighting men (v.11).
2)         He had 2,600 mighty men of valour (v.12).
3)         He had over 300,000 in his mighty army (v.13).
b.         He prepared powerful weapons
1)         His soldiers were well equipped with armour and weapons (v.14).
2)         His cunning men invented engines (i.e., devices) on the towers to shoot arrows and great stones (v.15).
3)         He was “marvellously helped”, evidently by the Lord.
  • A prepared person has foresight. He plans and prepares prudently for upcoming events and for potential danger. Being prepared is a quality of great leaders. Seek it!
  • Uzziah was pious, prudent, productive and prepared. These personal qualities can benefit every one of us. However, late in his life, a dreadful vice overcame Uzziah.
5.        He became a prideful king (v.16-23).
a.         His heart was lifted up (v.16-18)
1)         He became proud of his great accomplishments.
a)         He was not immoral.
b)         He was not an idolater.
c)         He was not addicted to porn.
d)         He did not take God’s name in vain.
e)         He simply became proud, and God hates pride.
2)         Being proud, he insisted on burning his own incense upon the altar of incense (v.16). God gave this job to the priests only.
3)         Eighty-one priests went into the temple to stop him (v.17-18).
b.         His pride destroyed him (v.19-23)
1)         Uzziah got angry with the priests and God struck him with leprosy (v.19-20).
2)         The consequences of sin are often far greater than realised. Uzziah remained a leper unto the day of his death (v.21).
a)         He lost God’s blessing and prosperity.
b)         He lost his health.
c)         He lost his home. He had to live in a separate house.
d)         He lost his privilege to go to the temple to worship.
e)         He lost his leadership ability (v.21)
3)         Of Uzziah someone wisely said, “One great sin blots an otherwise spotless character.” Fausset’s Bible Dictionary
4)         Pride is a subtle sin. It is difficult to see in oneself. It is even harder to overcome it. It is a dreadful vice.
5)         The prideful person takes credit for skills and abilities given by God. Therefore, pride robs Him of His rightful glory. (Jeremiah 9:23-24) “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
6)         Because pride is stealing from God, God has no option but to oppose the prideful. (James 4:6) “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
c.          Overcoming pride in our lives
Adapted from
1)         Adopt a right view of God. God is your Creator, Sustainer and Enabler. You are His creation. Fear the Lord, giving him the honour that he deserves. (Proverbs 8:13)
2)         Revise false beliefs about yourself. Stop thinking you are better than others (1 Corinthians 4:7). Stop thinking so highly of yourself (Romans 12:3). Stop thinking that you deserve special favour (Proverbs 25:27).
3)         Repent of your sinful pride. Yes, pride is sin.
4)         Watch carefully lest you be lured back into pride. Stay on guard.
5)         Flee temptation to pride. Keep yourself close to the Lord through Bible study and prayer. Claim God’s promises to honour humility (1 Peter 5:6). Establish safeguards. Make changes in your lifestyle that will reduce the temptation to pride. Get rid of clothes or property that make you feel proud. Minister to others who are less fortunate. Have an honest friend hold you accountable for your pride.
Conclusion: Review again the four good qualities of Uzziah that each of us need to develop in our own lives. Ponder carefully pride’s price. It cost Uzziah everything that he valued. It could do the same to you and me. Review again the five steps to overcoming pride. Ask the Lord to help you follow these steps to victory.