The Lame Games we Play 5: The Fame Game – The Pride of Uzziah

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A successful king played the Fame Game, and the pride of Uzziah led to his downfall.

There are some Lame Games we should no longer play in life. One of those games in the Fame Game!

The Fame Game is a game where you define your value by having gained the attention of others. It is a tricky & destructive game.

Uzziah had much success, but success can bring pride & pride always brings destruction.

Is there a way to beat the Fame Game?

The Lame Games we Play 5: The Fame Game – The Pride of Uzziah from Redemption Church on Vimeo.

 

 

Lame Games we Play 5 – Fame Game

Sermon notes by Pastor Chris Fluitt

Redemption Church Plano Tx

 

Welcome to Redemption Church! My name is Chris Fluitt. It is a beautiful day in Plano Tx and I excited to be preaching the word to you today. Hello as always to each of you in the room and watching or listening online.

 

We are in the 5th week of our series – The Lame Games We Play.

Lame Games we Play 

We have talked about THE SHAME GAME, THE BLAME GAME, THE NAME GAME, and THE SAME GAME.

Today I want to talk to you about the FAME GAME.

The Fame Game

Chris Fluitt Sermon

The Fame Game is a game where you define your value by having gained the attention of others.

Do you think our culture plays the Fame Game? Do you think our society is constantly trying to gain the attention of others?

People flip out when their instagram picture from the front row of the Beyonce concert doesn’t get enough likes. If you knew how many times they took that picture to get it just right, and how much they spent on the tickets, and how much they need your validation, you would be upset too.

We will trade being a good person, for someone saying we are a good person. Somehow more value is placed on the attention of others than the actual content of our character.

This is the Fame Game, where we spend more energy on gaining attention, than on growing as a person. But is the Name on the cover more important than the content within?

In 1982 a sci-fi film came out that became, for its time, the highest grossing movie ever.  The Movie was named ET.

Atari, the leading video game console at the time, thought that they needed to cash in on the cultural phenomena by making a video game version of the popular movie. Atari paid 22 million for the rights to make an E.T. game.

This is that game… ET Atari Game

Could you even figure out what was going on? That last part was actually how the game ends…

The ET video game broke records in release sales. When ET hit the stores people recognized it by name and bought it up, only to take it home and realize it was a terrible game. Many of the people who bought the game brought it back and were furious.

Howard Scott Warshaw, was approached by his bosses at Atari to make the game. They gave him 5 weeks to make this game.  Warshaw said “The bosses believed that as long as we put anything out the door with ET’s name on it would sell millions and millions.”

The ET game failed so badly that they the company actually tried to bury their problem. They buried thousands of these unsalable game cartridges in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Atari would later declare bankruptcy.  Atari played the Fame Game and lost everything.

Content matters

The name on the cover received a lot of attention, but it was not enough. When people discovered the content inside was worthless it brought about the end of a video game empire.

A name without content will end up in the garbage.

The world we live in is consumed with names and celebrity, without giving much thought to the content of character within the person.

But the truth is that CONTENT MATTERS. A name is not enough. Attention from people is not enough. Being able to drop names of celebrities in conversation will never benefit your life like unshakable character.

We need to avoid the fame game, where we get our value from the attention of people.

I want to tell you about a famous king named Uzziah.

Uzziah

2 Chronicles 26:1 (NIV2011) Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 

This young king Uzziah was impressive.  He was only 16 years and became king. 2 Chronicles 26 gives his resume and it is impressive.

2 Chronicles 26:4 (NIV2011) He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. 

2 Chronicles 26:5 (NIV2011) He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success. 

There are lot of Kings in Israel that never had this description. He sought God and received success from God.

Do you want that to be how your life is described? That you seek God and God gives you success…

2 Chronicles 26:6 (NIV2011) He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 

2 Chronicles 26:8 (NIV2011) The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful. 

2 Chronicles 26:9 (NIV2011) Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them. 

2 Chronicles 26:10 (NIV2011) He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain. He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil. 

2 Chronicles 26:11 (NIV2011) Uzziah had a well-trained army, ready to go out by divisions according to their numbers as mustered by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the direction of Hananiah, one of the royal officials. 

2 Chronicles 26:13 (NIV2011) Under their command was an army of 307,500 men trained for war, a powerful force to support the king against his enemies. 

2 Chronicles 26:14 (NIV2011) Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army. 

2 Chronicles 26:15 (NIV2011) In Jerusalem he made devices invented for use on the towers and on the corner defenses so that soldiers could shoot arrows and hurl large stones from the walls. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. 

Success matters

Uzziah had it going on. He had success! He had more than a well-known name, he had content. He had success. He built things. He grew an army. He invented weaponry. He invested in his army and in his vineyards. By every definition of a king, Uzziah was a success.

Uzziah was FAMOUS. His enemies knew about him and even paid tribute to him.

If you were going to make a list of successful Kings who ruled in Israel, Uzziah would be near the top. I would put him behind only Solomon & David as successful kings in Old Testament Scripture.

Content matters

I want to remind you that content matters, and to this point in Uzziah’s story he has got content of character. Scripture says “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord..” But I have bad news.

Success can bring Pride & Pride brings destruction

We all want to success. God wants you to be successful. You are seeking to be successful. All our students going back to school should be aiming for success. You on your job should be aiming for success.  You ought to have success in life!

BUT… Success can be the worst thing for some people. People who lack content of character don’t handle success very well.

2 Chronicles 26:15 (NIV2011) …His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. 

2 Chronicles 26:16 (NIV2011) But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall… 

Uzziah became powerful!  He experienced a lot of success, BUT HE BECAME PRIDEFUL.

Uzziah played the fame game. He started defining his value by something other than his relationship with God. He started defining his value by his success, by his bank account, by the attention of others.

Success can bring Pride & Pride brings destruction

Uzziah had more fame than the content of his character could support.

Some people appear to have good content of character, but then a little bit of success reveals they have a content problem.

  • They have a little power and authority and you see them abuse it.
  • They have a leadership responsibility and they blame others.
  • You may see them be dishonest. You may see them become arrogant. You may see them become disloyal.

I am convinced that some people can’t handle a blessing. Can God trust you with a blessing?

The key to living a blessed life is being trustworthy with the blessing. Can you receive the blessing without falling into a pride that foolishly believes you are the source of your own blessing?

God you are the source of my blessing!  I am not the source of my blessing.

 

Uzziah’s pride ignored all barriers

This is tricky, because all successful people ignore barriers of impossibilities. Someone says, “you can’t do that. It can’t be done.” Successful people have a way of saying “oh yeah? Watch me do it!” and then they go out and do it.   That is basically what successful people do…  But you need to know that there are some barriers you shouldn’t mess with.  God gives us some barriers for our own protection.

2 Chronicles 26:16 (NIV2011) 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. 

TEMPLE LAYOUT

meaning of temple cross

There are 6 specific furniture pieces in the Temple.

  • The Brazen Alter where the lamb is slain.
  • The Laver where the priest washes.
  • The table of Shewbread where the priest receives sustenance from God’s word.
  • The altar of incense is an act of obedient worship.
  • The Candlestick that is the source of light.
  • The Ark of the Coveneant, the very presence of God.

TEMPLE BARRIERS

Temple curtains veil

God put barriers in His temple to protect people. There was an outer court where men could go, but there was a room beyond that called the HOLY PLACE and only priests could enter. Beyond the HOLY PLACE was a room called THE HOLY OF HOLIES and only the High Priest could enter 1 day a year. Inside the HOLY OF HOLIES was a golden box called the ARK OF THE COVENANT and if anyone touched it they would die.

TEMPLE BARRIERS

This was serious. A quick glance at the Temple and the furniture inside of it out to reveal Jesus Christ. All the furniture is laid out in the shape of the Cross!

TEMPLE CROSS

jesus temple cross

God placed these barriers to protect people, but prideful UZZIAH ignored the barriers and entered into the HOLY PLACE and walked right up to the Altar of Incense and the king attempted to do the work that only a priest was allowed to do.

2 Chronicles 26:17 (NIV2011) Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the Lord followed him in. 

2 Chronicles 26:18 (NIV2011) 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.” 

2 Chronicles 26:19 (NIV2011) 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. 

 

What happened here?  The Fame Game happened here.

The Fame Game

Uzziah who earlier did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, was now attempting to completely defy the Word of God. Success brought him fame, but it also brought him pride, and bride always leads to destruction.

Proverbs 16:18 (NIV2011) Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 

In his pride, Uzziah thought he had the right to ignore the barrier in front of him. Uzziah thought because he was king he could also be priest.

King Saul made the same mistake in his reign.  There is only one King Priest – Jesus

Jesus is the only one is enthroned as King of King and also our high priest who can go past the veil and make intersession for our sin. I don’t care what your resume says – You can’t do that! Only Jesus can. I don’t care what people have nice to say about you – Jesus is the only King & Priest allowed in the temple.

The Fame Game is a con job that will tell you that you are the cause of all your success.

2 Chronicles 26:21 (NIV2011) King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house—leprous, and banned from the temple of the Lord. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. 

He no longer lived in the Palace. He no longer visited the temple. He was no longer king. He was discarded like an E.T. Atari cartridge. He was a name without content.

Can we talk about our content today? Are we more concerned about what people think about us that what is on the inside of us?

Are we playing the Fame Game?  Have we fallen prey to the con job that suggests that we are the cause of our own success?

You may have success but you have had help along the way.  You may have success but you better know it is the Lord who is blessing you.

 

When we come to pray today we need to talk to God about our content.

  • Integrity beats the Fame Game.

Integrity means that you are the same in all conditions. What if we just as sweet and wonderful on the bottom rung of the ladder as we are at the top rung CEO position?

  • Humility beats the Fame Game.

Pride leads to destruction, but God honors and blesses a humble spirit.  Be humble in your success. You don’t need validation from people, God validates you.

  • Thankfulness beats the Fame Game.

Uzziah thought he earned everything he had. What if he would have been thankful instead of prideful?

  • Worship beats the Fame Game.

Be quick to give ALL GLORY TO GOD. #AG2G. Worship makes God Famous. Worship the true source of our success – God!

 

 

Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua. Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic Connect on Google+