Dad Devotional Day 21
2 Chronicles 26
All sins are bad as they separate us from God. A favorite Bible verse Christians love to cite, is Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Typically, when quoting this verse, they focus on the first half and de-emphasize the latter. It is as though all sins are equal and damnation is a fait accompli. Luckily for us, it’s not and in this unique story from Chronicles, we see how God establishes balance to this verse while correcting a man’s heart.
It begins with a young king’s rise in the kingdom of Judah. He is only sixteen years old, but is an able administrator and increases the power of his kingdom. The king’s name is Uzziah and through his prowess on the battlefield “the Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful” (v.9). He built guard towers throughout the land and recruited the strongest men into his army. Equipping them with the latest military armor and weapons, he is riding high on a wave of military success. As the aphorism goes, it is the ‘pride before the fall’.
Desiring one thing more, the king succumbs to his pride and seeks the one thing he cannot have. He wants to be God’s priest. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden, he is given all that his eye can see with one command, not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God alone has that knowledge and imparts it to His priest, of which Uzziah is not. But, King Uzziah wants it and he is accustomed to getting his desires.
Going to the temple, King Uzziah throws open the doors. Seeing this, a large group of priests nearby follow him in. In shocking effrontery, he grabs one of the golden incense plates and begins burning a sacrifice to the Lord. One of the priests bravely speaks up saying, “That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God.” (v.18). In this sacred space, the king violated the purity of the temple with his actions.
In one of those wonderful old-world examples of justice, God shows up. King Uzziah is furious at the priest for correcting him and instantly a contagious disease breaks out on his forehead. It is leprosy, one of the most contagious diseases in the ancient world. The priests hurry the king from the temple and he struggles with the disease for the rest of his life. The king’s pride was clouding his heart and his relationship with God. In order for him to grow in the Glory of God, this pride must be removed from him.
We may be great in one area, but our pride tells us we deserve more. Pride is the sin from which all sins begin. But rather than looking at sin negatively, we are be better served by seeking the Glory of God in the positive. Like the king, we all struggle with pride, but we are all able to move closer to the Glory of God. Falling short of the glory of God, means that God’s glory is something to strive for. In a word it is holy.