READ: 2 Chronicles 26-28
THINK: Success. Power. Influence. These are things that many people in the world strive for-things that King Uzziah attained. With God's help, he became one of the most successful, influential and long-standing kings in Judah's history. Yet, faithful as he was for most of his reign, he wasn't immune to faltering faith. What ultimately tarnished his time on the throne was the fact that "after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall" (26:16). He forgot how he had achieved power. Though the Bible still assessed Uzziah's reign in a positive light (26:4), the king suffered unnecessary humiliation in his final years because he relied on himself rather than God.
RESPOND: In what way was the pattern of Uzziah's reign and devotion to God similar to several kings before him? (See 26:1 note.) Why do some people who relied heavily on God for a long time end up being unfaithful later on? Why was Zechariah's role key in Uzziah's life (26:5)? Why did Uzziah have success? (See 26:5 note.) What led to Uzziah's downfall, and why? (See 26:16 note.) What things did Uzziah do that revealed arrogance (26:16-19)? Why do people often become unfaithful to God after experiencing success? (See 26:16 note.) What attitudes and actions can help guard you against this tendency? Why did Jotham grow more powerful during his reign (27:6)? What repulsive acts did Ahaz's idol worship cause him to do? (See 28:3 note.) Why was God angry about Israel's treatment of her sister nation, Judah (28:9-10)? How did Israel's officials respond to God's correction (28:13-15)? How can looking to the wrong sources or people for help bring more harm than good (28:16,20)? Why do some people become more unfaithful to God in times of trouble (28:22), while others become more dependent on Him?
PRAY: Pray that you'll always stay humble and dependent on God and that pride won't take hold in your life when you experience success or influence. Pray for wisdom regarding where you turn for help, relying on God above all.
ACT: If pride has crept into your life, compromising your dependence on God or causing you to disregard Him, ask God to forgive you. Humble yourself and set things right with anyone you may have offended by your attitudes and actions. Honor God for what He's given you and how He's helped you. If you're relying on a wrong source for help or support, get out of that situation or relationship and start relying on God for guidance and power.
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