Friday, August 9, 2013

From Forgetting to Faith

Yesterday, we reached the beginning of the reign of Manasseh.  The pre-teen son of Hezekiah, one might expect a good king.  But here is what we read in 2 Kings 21:16:

“Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.”

The entire chapter is a heart-breaking revelation of how the sins of one draw others into sin.  The Truth of God was available but the encouragement to sin preferred.  We humans love darkness more than light.  But that does not lead God to despair.  He recognizes the truth of us and loves us anyway.  He calls, He chastises and He calls some more.  The parallel passages that give more detail about Manasseh’s reign are found over in 2 Chronicles 33.  Look at the glorious result of God’s loving call:

And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,  And prayed unto him: and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.

Ultimately, Manasseh—whose name involves the concept of ‘forgetting’—remembered God.  He humbled himself and sought the goodness of God.  As long as breath remains in the body, God waits with open arms.  Consequences and legacies remain for our years of rebellion—and the costs are not small.  Manasseh’s own son chose to follow the path of evil and died at the hands of conspirators at a very young age.  But the hope and confidence the love of God gives never need be extinguished.  The next king we see brings great revival and rejoicing.  Eight years old at the start of his reign, Josiah has much to teach us about honoring God. 

May our hearts be inspired to live for a legacy that points to LOVE!  Our world needs hope; the love of God gives confident expectation:  HOPE!  Let us live to inspire FAITH!

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