Too Big for His Britches
By Brenda Black
Taylor Swift, at 19, swept the 2009 CMA awards with wins in every category for which she was nominated, including Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Fearless and Music Video of the Year for Love Story. Sure, she has a huge fan base from teeny boppers to grown men, even though most of her music is narrowly targeted. Sure, she got superstar endorsement from legendary George Strait or used the name of fellow country celebrity Tim McGraw in her lyrics to make a name for herself. But another country music icon, Wynonna Judd, dared to point out the obvious concerning the starlet's meteoric rise to success. Every entertainment blog, rag or gossip clutched Judd's newsy quote, first expressed in USA Today, and turned it into headlines around the world.
Judd told the reporter: "You want my honest comment? It's too much too soon. Time is God's way of keeping everything from happening at once. It's just too much of a good thing too soon. My thing is, being a home-school mum, I want kids to earn it, and I think some time...
"Now it's over coffee breaks, the success, almost. You have to play catch up... It's like the girl who wins an Oscar and she's under 20. What do you do from here?"
Maybe Wy espoused some wisdom – the kind of counsel a young King of Judah could have used a few thousand years ago.
“Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king...As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.” (2 Chronicles 26:1,5)
Inexperienced Uzziah went to war, broke down walls, rebuilt and fortified towns. He built towers in the desert, dug cisterns for his extensive livestock herds. He enlisted the masses to work his fields and vineyards and was an affluent farmer. A massive and well-trained army backed him with the shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and sling stones provided by Uzziah himself. He designed machines for battle that could shoot arrows or hurl large stones. “His fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.” (vs. 8b) “His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became too powerful.” (vs. 15b)
It was going superbly until...Uzziah got to big for his britches! “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 him 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, leprosy broke out on his forehead...King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house – leprous, and excluded from the temple of the Lord.” (2 Chron. 26:16-26 selected)
Big price to pay for big britches don't you think! What is most alarming is the arrogant audacity to rage at the priests in the Lord's temple! Uzziah had placed himself haughtily above both man and GOD. He forgot it was the Lord who elevated him to royal standing, who enlarged his territory and strengthened his hands. It was God who gave him military intelligence and farming knowhow.
It took 80 brave, godly men to stand up to one pompous, out-of-control king. Uzziah gravely erred when he forgot it was the true King who grants success and He can take it away just as fast! Yep, wailing Wynonna could have saved unruly Uzziah a whole lot of trouble, if he had listened to her council to take it slow and stay humble. The only true success that will last is granted by God in His time to those who glorify the Lord instead of themselves.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)