But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride brought him down. He wasn’t faithful to the LORD his God.
~2 Chronicles 26:16, NIrV
To finish is to win.
What do these men have in common: Saul, Solomon, Amaziah, Joash and Uzziah? At least two things: first they were all kings of Israel or members of the House of David and secondly, they all started well and finished poorly. Uzziah served as Judah’s king for 52 years and most of them were good but his success went to his head and he became proud. So proud that he saw no need for a priest and decided to burn incense to the LORD in his own behalf. When the priest tried to stop him, he went in to a fit of rage and then leprosy brought out on his forehead. The priest saw it first. When Uzziah realized what had happened, he willingly left the Temple and never returned. He had leprosy to the day he died. 2 Chronicles 26:16 could have been applied to all five of these kings. Solomon was a great king in the early years but finished horribly. Amaziah won one decisive battle and then it went to his head and he turned and attacks his on relatives to the North. He loss the battle and his self-respect. Joash did great as long as the priest Jehoiada was alive but after Jehoiada died, Joash became a terror. He was so bad that his own people assassinated him. Ironically, it was Solomon who penned the proverb, “Pride goes before a fall.”
Being an old track man, I can tell you that the most important part of the race is the finish. It doesn’t matter how fast you start, what matters is your perseverance and your finish. My high school class reunion is coming up this Saturday. One of the classmates who will not be present is Morris Hill. Morris was killed in a automobile wreck 17 years ago. Morris and I became friends our senior year. I was a poor kid from out of town attending a city school and he was a poor kid in town. My daddy finished concrete, his daddy drove a potato chip truck. Neither of us were highly esteemed by the uppity-ups. Morris was more mature than I was–He didn’t care what the elites thought. When we moved back into this area in 1979, I would see Morris at 10-K meets. We were both overweight and ran as a weight control. Morris was about 6’3″ and had a longer stride but neither of us were going to finish first. I would have never attempted a Marathon had not Morris encouraged me. Before every race, he would remind me, “Remember Jack, to finish is to win.” Finishing well is important. Do you think Robert Bentley has any regrets? Pride is always present to trip us up. We cannot afford to glory in the past or the boast in the present. To finish well, we have to avoid the pot holes of pride; they are all along the way so watch your step.
Hallelujah, I got a project completed: a rare occurrence these days. I am loving this Blackberry winter. I can live with 62*.
We need to continue to pray for all our friends who are battling cancer. The list is long.
Pray for Joe David, he has a major decision to make concerning travel.