Uzziah's Pride

Kevin DeYoung

READ : 2 Chronicles 26:1-23

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. (v. 16 NIV)

Proverbs 16:18 summarizes the sad life of King Uzziah: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Uzziah is the third straight king who started out strong but did not finish well. Joash was a good king so long as Jehoiada the priest was alive. Amaziah enjoyed some military success but ignored God’s Word and turned to idolatry. Uzziah was hugely successful and faithful as long as Zechariah instructed him. But in the end, pride was his undoing.

Uzziah’s reign started well. He sought the Lord (vv. 1-5), and the Lord gave him success (vv. 6-15). Uzziah defeated armies, built up cities, cultivated the land, and outfitted the army. “He was marvelously helped, till he was strong,” is how the King James Version puts it (v. 15). Then comes the fall. “But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction” (v. 16). The pattern of Uzziah’s life—seek the Lord, receive blessing, forget the Lord, fall to destruction—has been tragically repeated countless times. It’s the great danger for successful people in any field.

Pride is not our friend, which is why we need another Proverb in our life. “He [the Lord] mocks proud mockers, but gives grace to the humble” (3:34).


Lord, forgive us for our self-reliance and pride. Amen.