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.

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The Original Sin(s)

In Genesis 2:16 – 17  God told Adam and Eve they were free to eat from any tree in the garden, with the only exception being the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  There is no mention of them being forbidden from eating from the tree of life although both were in the center of the garden. For all we know they did eat from the tree of life.

God told them both that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. This is the first mention of death as a consequence of sin.

After the encounter with the “serpent”,  Adam and Eve sinned by doing what God expressly forbade them to do.

They had committed the first [original] sin(s).

Psalm 51:5 states: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”.

1 John 1:10 states: “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us”.

Would these apply to the disbelief of “original sin”?  That’s something to be considered.

So by sinning, they reaped the consequences that God told them would happen. Hence, death was brought into the world.  The ground was cursed, as were both Adam and Eve.

If they had not been forced to leave Eden, they could have lived forever by eating from the tree of life. Obviously, God knew what would happen if they were to eat from it and He also knew how He would provide eternal life for mankind. Our finite human reasoning cannot fathom exactly how He will choose to bestow eternal life. However He does it, we must be humble and very, very careful to not presume to know the mind of God.

Proverbs 3:18 states that wisdom is [a] tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

While it doesn’t seem to be a reference to THE tree of life, I’m not convinced it has no relation to it. Consider this, Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden with the knowledge of good and evil, but there is no mention of them leaving with wisdom.

The sin of idolatry (putting their desires above God) and rebellion (by not obeying what He said) were the original sin(s).

So, the original sin(s) encompassed lust of the eyes (the fruit was pleasing to the eye), lust of the flesh (it was good for food) and the pride of life (wanting to be like God by knowing good from evil).

This is the account of the “Original Sin(s)”