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  • Writer's pictureMark


As I read through the Bible I try to find the lessons within and apply them to my life. All the while I do that I’m keeping in mind that not everything there CAN be applied to my life. The words were written for a specific readership, and that doesn’t include today’s society. But that’s another message.

I’m in 2 Chronicles as I write this. Uzziah, to be specific. He started out as a “two thumbs up” kinda king. He was one of the better kings of Judah. But then something happened.

One day he went into the temple and was going to burn incense. The trouble is, he wasn’t one of the appointed people to do that. Instead of saying, “Whoopsie! My mistake,” he got ticked off. From that day forward he was a “two thumbs down” kinda king.

I asked my wife why the bible (it was a rhetorical question) doesn’t go into more detail about why so many of folks are going good, and suddenly pivot to the Dark Side. There’s no real answer, other than the lesson it was meant to convey to the original audience - the post-exilic community.

The question is what is the purpose of including Uzziah’s story the way it was written? What did it mean to the folks coming back from Babylon/Persia to Judah? Then perhaps that lesson can be applied to modern life.

Later that day (it was Sunday) our sermon was from Philippians. In chapter three there’s a part where Paul mentions that a lot of the folks who came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah turned away. I guess things got too hard for them. In THAT day there was a lot of persecution.

My pastor mentioned that it’s hard to believe someone who turned away was ever really a follower to begin with.

Like King Uzziah.

Everything was coming up roses for him. He’s the commander in chief of one of the more powerful kingdoms in the area. HE is the one who yelled “jump” and everyone asked “how high?” Then he wanders into the temple, all high on success, and the priests tell him he’s not authorized to burn incense. “That’s our job.”

The king got leprosy (don’t necessarily think Hanson’s Disease, BTW) and spent the rest of his life locked away from everyone else. The folks in Philippi probably thought the same thing: I’m with God Most High! How can anything be wrong with that?

I’ve written before about sunshine and lollipops don’t follow a decision to follow Christ. There will be opposition, just like those folks the Apostle Paul was writing about.

Anyway, back to what we can learn from Uzziah.

I’m an author. I write books and toy with writing messages someone might learn a bit from. Uzziah teaches me to not get full of myself in the event one of my books becomes wildly popular. “Don’t go trying to burn incense, Mark. Remember Uzziah!”

The hope I have is that I’m not simply a “fair weather” follower. If I get a lot of success or a lot of failure, my intention is to keep Him first in my life. When books get huge success or fall flat, He is still the only true Savior.

That’s the lesson of Uzziah and Philippians.

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