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,