Study from God’s Word… Isaiah, Chapters 65 – 66; 2nd Chron. 19: 37 [Is. 37:38]; 2Chron 33: 10 - 17 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Chronicles 33: 12 - 13… NIV 12 In his distress he [the evil king of Judah, Manasseh] sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 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.
My Journal for Today: We’ve been focusing on the prophesies and ministry of Isaiah during my devotional reading in The Daily Bible in Chronological Order and in the companion book, The Daily Bible Devotional by F. LaGard Smith, during these last weeks; and it has been a great restudy for me, … reminding me just how patient God was with his recalcitrant children in Israel and Judah; and how he sent Prophets, like Isaiah, to give His word to the people. Some listened and became part of the remnant of people led, along with the misfits, into captivity; and then ultimately redeemed and delivered by the One prophesied, … The Messiah.
And one such biblical snapshot of disobedience, God’s patience, and one man’s repentance was the story of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, who became King of Judah after the obedient reign of Hezekiah. And as God’s word says [in 2nd Chron. 33: 2], “He (Manasseh) did evil in the sight of the Lord;” and for many years, early in his kingship, the young king undid almost all that his daddy had accomplished. And for his disobedience and unGodly leadership, God allowed Manasseh to be broken by captivity to the Babylonians to the point where Manasseh confessed and repented and turned, in prayer, to God. And God in His infinite mercy restored Manasseh to his kingship; and led him back to Jerusalem where he did all he could, in repentance, during his remaining years to rebuild what he had undone as king.
I don’t know about you; but I really identify with Manasseh. For over 20 years of my life, after I had gone off to college, I turned away from my upbringing in Christian roots. And God still loved and pursued me in spite of my disobedience, sinful living, and veritable mockery of my God. And God even led me into my own “Babylon,” so-to-speak, where I was taken captive by my flesh, the world, and Satan. But after all those years of abject rejection of God, the “Hound of Heaven” came after me and showed me that I could not hack my out a way in this life without Him. So, I confessed, repented, and sought the saving grace of God, just as did Manasseh. And just as The Lord, God, Yahweh, did with Manasseh, He brought me into a deep and abiding relationship with Himself; and because of that I fully expect one day to see, identify, and even befriend my Brother in Christ, Manasseh, in heaven. And that, I anticipate, being a really cool meeting.
Hey, if you’re reading along with me, let’s make a date to meet up with Manasseh in heaven and share stories of God’s redeeming grace through The Messiah. It will be a cool meeting for coffee one day in Glory, for sure!
My Prayer for Today: Lord, … thank you for reminding me and my friends of Your infinite mercy and patience in pursuing Your lost children. Amen