November 14, 2016
2 Kings 21
LET IT GLOW
Just this morning I washed up a few dishes after having chili for supper last night. I had to turn them upside down and make sure all of the dishes were clean. Chili can leave a mess, as you will know. I didn't want any residue left. God was judging Jerusalem in a similar manner. He was going to turn it upside down.
There will be 5 kings of Judah mentioned in the next three chapters, but two main ones are Manasseh and Josiah. We will pick up on the spiritual lives of these two kings being the opposite of each other. Just when we thought we had read of the worse kings, then a good king, Hezekiah, here comes the most evil king of all.
Wiesbe describes Manasseh as beginning his reign in sin but ending it in humble repentance, while Josiah sought the Lord early in his life but ended his reign (and his life) in disobedience. Manasseh built up what Hezekiah had torn down, and tore down what Hezekiah had built up. Tradition tells us that Isaiah was sawn in two by Manasseh (Hebrews 11:37).
Liberty Bible Commentary describes who this ruthless king of Judah was:
- Manasseh was King Hezekiah's son, who began his 55 year reign as king of Judah at age 12, which was the longest reign of any Jewish king.
- He was probably co-regent with his father for about 10 years, some say.
- Manasseh sponsored a movement to undo his father's reformation.
- In open defiance of Jehovah, Manasseh restored the worship of Baal, Asherah, and asteral deities.
- He sacrificed his own son to the Ammonite god Molech. (Psalm 106:36-37 connects Molech worship to demonism.) [No wonder he is described as the most evil king.]
- This king put a graven image in the Temple.
- Thanks to Manasseh, Judah became more heathen than the peoples the Israelites had destroyed under the leadership of Moses and Joshua.
- God was judging Jerusalem as He had Samaria of Israel. (The Lord used a metaphor of a measuring line, plumb line, and cleaning a dish by turning it upside down to describe this.)
- Judah was God's remaining people, tribe, yet He would deliver them into the hand of their enemy, becoming a prey and spoil.
LET IT GROW
King Manasseh was born within the 15 years of Hezekiah's extended life. What a sad thing, too, for this son of a great, faithful king became known as the most evil in Judah and Israel. He tore down what his father had built up and replaced worship of God with idol worship.
The Lord sent prophets to this evil king for warning of judgment but he would not heed. We read the rest of his story in 2 Chronicles 33:11-19. The captains of the king of Assyria's army captured Manasseh and made him their servant.
Verses 12 and 13 reveal a good ending of Manasseh's life:
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 intreated of him and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manassah knew that the LORD He was God.
Manasseh went on to build a wall around Jerusalem, remove the idols which he had previously worshiped, and made offerings unto God.
This king had an opportunity to live a godly life and serve the Lord and his people with faithfulness, yet he did not at the beginning of his reign. Then at the latter end, he repented and reformed.
So many people life their life without God, then as their end draws closer, they repent and serve Him. It seems like such a waste, but coming to God in the end is better than not coming at all.
It shows us that we should not give up on folks. Keep praying for our loved ones and witnessing to them.
LET IT GO
Draw near to God and He will draw near to me.
Humble myself before a Holy God.
Repent of my sins.
Keep praying for others to come to Jesus as their Savior.
Turn my world upside down for Jesus.