Hezekiah, who had turned himself and as many of his people back to the Lord had died and his son Manasseh became king. Manasseh was a total contrast to his father. He rebuilt all the pagan shrines and he even sacrificed his own sons in the fire. I find it interesting that we are told in the passage below that the Lord spoke to Manasseh and yet he ignored the warnings. I wonder how the Lord spoke to Manasseh. Did God appear before him and display his mighty power? I think not, as that would be difficult to ignore. I think it more likely that it was through the writings of prophets that the Lord spoke. This is much as we can experience God today if we read the Bible. It is also interesting that when it all went wrong for Manasseh, his response was to seek the Lord he had heard about and ignored. He humbled himself and prayed that God would now save him.
2 Chronicles 33:9-13
But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land. The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realised that the Lord alone is God!
I can speak from personal experience when I tell you I know how Manasseh felt when he prayed to the God he had ignored. I know how humiliated he must have felt and what deep distress he must have been in to turn to God in desperation. I know how he must have felt when he finally realised that the Lord alone is God.
The further into this TWG project I get, the more I realise that telling the stories of our lives, both before and after coming to faith is really important. The bible is full of people’s life stories and the differences between how those with faith turned out compared with what happened to those who rejected the Lord. My goal is to continue to testify about the Lord by telling of what he has done in my own life, especially when my experience of God matches up with the characters we can read about in the Bible.
2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13, Romans 15:23-16:9, Psalms 25:16-22, Proverbs 20:16-18