Before and After…

Truth be known…I am behind in my readings…but when I catch up…I will catch up…I have already finished Isaiah, selections from II Kings, II Chronicles…now I move onto Zephaniah and Jeremiah before I begin this week…

If you are at all familiar with King Manasseh…you will recall that he was not a stellar king…in fact, he was one of the most wicked and vile kings.  His father Hezekiah was a good king and spent the bulk of his reign ridding Judah of idol worship and places of worship.

Manasseh basically undid everything that his father had done.

I wonder…is it easier to right a wrong OR turn something right into something wrong?

Sometimes righting a wrong requires just one thing…laying down our pride…for Manasseh turning something right into something wrong took a lot of work.

II Chronicles 33 records that Manasseh did the following:

  • He rebuilt the high places
  • He followed the detestable practices of the nations that the LORD had driven out before the Israelites
  • He erected altars to Baal
  • He made Asherah poles
  • He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshipped them
  • He built altars in the temple of the LORD
  • He built altars to the starry hosts and put them in the courts of the temple
  • He  sacrificed his sons in the fire
  • He practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft
  • He consulted mediums and spiritists
  • He made a carved image and put it in the temple

“He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.”  II Chron. 33: 6c

Manasseh did a lot…did any of it satisfy? He didn’t really know God…because he felt he needed to add to even the holy things of God…where God’s Presence already dwelt.

“Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.”  II Chron. 33:9

“The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.”  (33:10)

“So the LORD brought against them the army commander of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.” (33:11)

The LORD allowed Manasseh to experience the physical captivity that he already knew spiritually.  Manasseh got the message:

“In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.  And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.  Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.”  (33: 12-14)

In reading all that Manasseh did before…it is hard to believe that his sins were forgiveable…but that is what makes God Who He Says He Is!  Manasseh humbled himself greatly because his sins were great…he appealed to “the LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” (EX. 34: 6,7)

The sweet tenderness of God…He was moved by Manasseh’s prayer…and He brought him back…and Manasseh finally knew that the LORD is God…there is no other…nothing else that needs to be added…all those trips to the high places…to the mediums…to the foreign altars had never brought the Truth until now…none of those substitutes could bring him relief…grace…peace.

We have seen Manasseh’s before…now that Manasseh was right with God…he got busy undoing all the wrong…making it right before God…here’s Manasseh’s after:

Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David…he also made it much higher.  He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city.  Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel.”  (33:14-17)

Manasseh had a notorious before…but an after just as shocking!

We all have a before…before we knew the Truth…before it settled upon our hearts and penetrated every pore of our lives.  Once the Truth of Who God Is became tightly fastened to our souls…we stepped into the after…an after that probably did involved taking down places of false worship…trading up to worship the King of Kings…the Lord of Lords…the only Prince that can bring Peace…

Thank You Lord for before’s and after’s…definitely the best kind of extreme makeovers…AMEN!

Isn’t God’s Word amazing…if we ever think we have sinned too much to be forgiven…God includes this and many other accounts that let us know…we are not alone in our humanity…in humility we will find His grace in abundance…

Join me and others as we walk through the Word chronologically…there’s not one of us that hasn’t gotten behind at some point during this journey…but the great thing is that anyone can join at anytime…God’s Word is just waiting to be savored and ingested…click here to meet Bev and the other gals.

Consuming chapter by chapter,

Helen

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7 thoughts on “Before and After…

  1. Helen, you make God’s word come alive . . . and whet my appetite to want to re-read II Chronicles and get the rest of the details of this exciting story of redemption. Wow!!! What a before and after story of God’s grace and power. It’s such an example of HOPE. And maybe you weren’t actually “behind” in your reach . . . maybe you simply needed to chew on this piece a bit longer then previously “scheduled” to get the real nutrients out . . . for all of us!!!

    Thanks for blessing me with this post.

    Ann

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  2. God hearing Manasseh is such an amazing transformation and blessing to know we cannot go too far from the long and caring arm of our Lord. He can bring us back and redeem us from our pits of destruction! I love the way you consume chapters of His Word and retell the Story. Love, Annette

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  3. Wow, if I want to remember this story, I just earmarked this as a favorite on my site. Like you, I was so drawn to this story and God so spoke to me. Wonder why I think that the LORD is moved by the righteous pray-er not the unrighteous pray-er? It’s the humility of his heart that God loved. And there is hope for all of us. Thanks so much Helen!

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  4. Hi
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I like what you said great words to ponder. I often hate my before because the closer I get to God the more it grieves me to know I was the way I was. So it is so wonderful to know like you said, that no matter what we have done if we humble ourselves before God, He is eager to forgive.
    Have a great week.
    Lynn

    PS two things I’m glad I’m not the only one that gets behind on the reading, and secondly what setting did you do to get the “I’ve got Mail” to tell you when you have a new comment and on which post? If you have a chance to explain that would be great.
    Thanks

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  5. Hi ladies…thanks for all your comments…and little by little I am getting caught up…hooray!

    Lynn…I don’t know if this will be much help because I have a wordpress blog and don’t know what blogger does…for me, it is one of my sidebar widgets…I have one that says Recent Comments and I was able to edit it to say I’ve Got Mail and then I am also able to decide how many comments at the most will display…recently wordpress made some changes and it has made every comment have a pretty avatar…which I like a lot and it looks kind of pretty on the blog…from my understanding blogger is so much easier to add stuff than wordpress and has more fun features…I hope that helps but if you are anything like me…I usually press the Frequently Asked Questions and hope to be navigated the instructions…happy blogging!

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  6. Hi ya Helen, I’ve missed reading my friends blogs this last week – we’ve been away 🙂

    I love your insight here. Yes, it does take alot of work to do what’s wrong. And King Manasseh plunged head long into it. I’ve often thought, “Lord, why didn’t you just wipe him off the map after all the horrible things he did.” But God is merciful and at the end of his life, King Manasseh humbled himself before the Lord. I’m so glad we have a merciful God that is not willing that ANY should perish. It sure puts a different light on the crime and corruption in this world, doesn’t it?
    Love ya,
    Susan

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