Big Head, Big Fall

John Tilton


2 Chronicles 26:16-20

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. 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.” Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple, leprosybroke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out. Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the Lord had afflicted him.


Uzziah became the prideful victim of the power and authority bestowed upon him; where his pride drew him away from faith and obedience in the Lord His God. His subsequent actions, although seemingly appearing as proper to want to burn incense to the Lord, it was not his place or responsibility to do so. Thus, even when warned by the priests as such, he disregarded their warning and raged at them, probably due to his acclimation of yielding position and power. One would think that his decision to proceed despite warnings would end the situation with him doing as he pleased, given his position. However, God trumped him and brought judgment on him by afflicting him with leprosy instantaneously. It was only then that Uzziah left the Temple in obedience. But the ramifications of his disobedience persisted.


It seems so easy for the same to take place in leadership, whereby power and authority can often change a leader’s heart and thinking in terms of stewarding and wielding power and authority. The experience of seeing people follow one’s edicts, direction and orders, can develop a sense of pride in power, rather then grace in gifting. In addition, prideful leaders then tend to become territorial and protective of the pride and power held within a heart that has been swayed. God will often prompt friends, peers and others to warn a leader of what is taking place, or a leader will see one’s negative affect on other’s, including ill-fated results of one’s decision and orders. However, pride can cause the heart and resolve to be hard and set. This is when danger can set in with the ramifications of disobedience to God’s will and gifting; often extending way beyond the moment in time of pride of disobedience, even when realizes their mistake and turns from their wrongful ways.


Dear Lord, you have called me and blessed me with the privilege of leading others in my service to you. I pray that you would give me the insight and heart to remain humble in the prominence of being given a leadership mantle and position. May I steward the gifting and leadership bestowed upon me with humility and a heart of serving others with my leadership, rather then wielding power and authority; less a big head cause a big fall.

Devotions for July 03

Isaiah 6,7
2 Chronicles 26,27

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