Uzziah (Azariah) and I

This morning I knew it was past time I needed God to speak to me. So, I asked Him whether it be rebuke or encouragement, to please speak to me.

I was given one word – Uzziah

I didn’t recall anything about him, so I had to look him up in the Scriptures. I found the account of his reign over Judah in 2 Kings Chapter 15 and 2 Chronicles 25.

Uzziah began his reign when he was 16 and it ended when he was 52 years old.

The first part of his history as king began with him doing what was right in the eyes of God. He did a lot of positive things during the first part of his reign. However, he did not get rid of the high places where people sacrificed and burned incense.

His downfall began when he became powerful. He developed pride and was unfaithful to God.

Ironically, his downfall culminated when he went to the Temple to offer incense. He was warned by priests not to do this, but he became enraged at them then his forehead broke out in leprosy. The priests hurried him out and once he realized God had afflicted him he was also very eager to leave the Temple.

He had leprosy and had to live separately until the day he died and his son had to take over running the kingdom in his stead.

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In the beginning of my Christian life I was hungry for knowledge and didn’t know the difference between that and wisdom. I was fed such filling spiritual food. But I was rebellious and kept high places (idols) and sacrificed valuable and needed time spent with God to once again do things I enjoyed most.

Because I became puffed up with knowledge, I became prideful and unfaithful. This lasted for too many years until, through His merciful grace, He began to break through my hardened heart to show me the wickedness and reveal to me just how deep it was.

I have been rebuked many times for being unfaithful and prideful. Yet, even with all of the rebukes I still struggle with it and I see no reason to be prideful, but it is still there nonetheless.

It’s disgusting and disturbing to see it. It causes me to fear I’ll never be rid of it and that is so discouraging to me.

Which then led me again to Proverbs 12:9

“Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant, than pretend to be somebody and have no food”.

God had to use this Scripture to rebuke me years ago, yet I still struggle with it. It was initially given to me because I wasn’t managing my money well and was buying things for some of my neighbors that I couldn’t afford.

However, it has now been used to speak to me on a different level.

I have wanted to be someone wise who is capable of humbly rebuking others, but it was always out of pride. I think I suspected it, but didn’t know the extent of it until the last couple of years.

So, rather than being humble (skipping the servant part here), I wanted to be someone wise in the eyes of others and was starving from lack of spiritual food.

I don’t know if I’ll be afflicted, but if so it will be because I have sinned and God would do it so I could learn and honestly repent of it.

All of His judgments are righteous and just. Whatever He decides I must thankfully accept because He rebukes and disciplines those He loves.

Some idolatry

In Ezekiel the [reasons] for Jerusalem’s sins were pride, an abundance of food and idleness.

When one doesn’t have an abundance of food, it can always be replaced with an abundance of things wanted or the distractions this world provides.

Idleness – what a wretched state. That is when a person has a greater chance of becoming a sluggard and a fool.

The sluggard and fool both spend too much time with their own thoughts and so they become wise in their own eyes.

I believe all sin comes down to three things:

The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

Eyes: Anything thing you can see or imagine.

Flesh: Feelings, attitudes, physical pleasure, desire for a great level of respect, power, money; an endless list of all sorts of things.

Pride: Anything that supplants God with ourselves.

I once heard a pastor say anything that hinders someone from being close to God is sinful.

I’ve thought about that over the years since I heard it. It’s SO true. We are warned time and again about being distracted by things of the world; distracted by cares and pleasures.

It is a fight against a person’s nature to forego pleasure and other things that distract in order to be wholly focused on God.

There is so much more I can say about this, but Lord willing, I’ll post a separate one with more details and personal thoughts.