Listen to the man in the know

Published 11:35 am Thursday, March 16, 2023

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By R.A. Tea Mathews

The man sped down the country road far from his wealthy home. He couldn’t believe his bride wanted to get married in her home church.

“It’s in the middle of nowhere!” he said to himself.

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The ceremony was in less than an hour and the GPS on his Porsche had failed him. 

Spotting a farmer walking along the road, the groom slowed his vehicle and rolled down the window. 

“Do you know where Christ Church is?” he asked, not trying to hide his disgust.

The farmer nodded.

“How long until I’m there?”


“How much further?” The groom snapped. He needed an answer. Now.

“Well—” the farmer started again.

“Just tell me!” The groom waved his hand toward the road ahead of him.

The farmer looked down the road. “Tell you what?”

“Listen, old man.” The frustrated groom checked his watch. “I need to get there. If I keep going straight, I’ll see it. Right?”


“Am I going to see it?!”

“I reckon it’s possible.” 

The groom stared at the farmer, certain the old man was toying with him now. “How many miles?”


“Roughly!” the groom shouted. “Give me a number!”

The old farmer scratched his head. “Twenty-five, but that’d be a guess.”

“Twenty-five miles? Great!” The groom started to power up his window. 

“Twenty-five thousand.” 


“Or you could turn around here.” The farmer pointed behind the car toward the church steeple one block down. The sign outside read, “Christ Church.”

I told this story last night at my friends’ house. I had my laptop in front of me, working on this newspaper column.

“But what does the story have to do with the Bible?” their son asked me.

“I was thinking about the good and bad kings in Israel,” I said to Cade. “Most of them hard charging. But a few listened to the Lord’s guidance.” 

“Which king did you choose?” he asked.

“I’m still deciding.”

Cade immediately picked up his phone and Googled. “What about King Uzziah?”

“An excellent choice, Cade!” 

Uzziah reigned in southern Israel from the time he was 16. But was he a good king or a bad king? Can you pick out the verse that tells us about him?

  1. “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord.”
  2. “…as long as he sought the Lord, God made him successful.”
  3. “…his fame extended to the border of Egypt.”
  4. “…his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly.”
  5. All of the above.
  6. None of the above.

Consider your choices and lock in your answer. Here’s the Scripture:

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem … He did what was right in the sight of the Lord…

“He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah … and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him successful.

God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians … and his fame extended to the border of Egypt…” (2 Chronicles 26:3-8)

But such great success went to Uzziah’s head. …when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was untrue to the Lord his God.” (2 Chronicles 26:16)

The correct answer is No. 5.

Do you recall what arrogant Uzziah did?

  1. He burned incense on the altar.
  2. He killed the prophets.
  3. He stole gold and silver from the temple.
  4. He had relations with his officer’s wife.
  5. All of the above.
  6. None of the above.

Consider your choices and lock in your answer. Here’s the passage:

“Uzziah entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.” (2 Chronicles 26:16)

Scripture tells us that a priest followed him with 80 additional priests and confronted Uzziah, saying, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron who have been consecrated… ” (2 Chronicles 26:17-18)

 This angered Uzziah. At that moment, he was struck with leprosy, which forever cut him off from the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 26:19-21)

The correct answer is No. 1.

The arrogant groom nearly missed his wedding because he wouldn’t listen to the man in the know. Uzziah, on the other hand, wanted to listen, and God brought him great success. That is, until Uzziah wanted his own way.

A good king gone bad.

Many a Christian has disappointed God by insisting on his or her way. Especially in the church.

Be careful. Listen closely to the Lord before you speak or act. Let Him lead.

The Rev. Mathews, BA, MDiv, JD, is a faith columnist and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact her at to join her 1-Minute Bible Study.

Copyright © 2023 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.