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2 Chronicles Chapter 33 (ESV)
9 Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
14 Afterward he built an outer wall for the city of David west of Gihon, in the valley, and for the entrance into the Fish Gate, and carried it around Ophel, and raised it to a very great height. He also put commanders of the army in all the fortified cities in Judah. 15 And he took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside of the city. 16 He also restored the altar of the Lord and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and he commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless, the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
- Manasseh was the worst in the list of bad kings of Israel. He did evil throughout his life which included worshipping idols, offering his sons as sacrifice for idols, and profaning the temple. However, he knew his sins when he was in distress and called for God’s forgiveness. God listened to his prayer when he repented his sins with action. If God could forgive the evil king Manasseh he could surely forgive anyone. Have you doubted if what you have done is even forgivable? You can rest assured you will receive God’s merciful forgiveness if you genuinely confess and repent your sins by faith.
- Although the Israelites knew they should worship God, they took the wrong approach. God once commanded them to make sacrifices in designated locations in order to protect them from the dangerous influence of pagan customs so that they would not change the way of worship. Unfortunately, they continued to make sacrifices to God at the high places (33:17). They were confused by mixing up pagan belief with worshipping God, and the pagan gods with the one true God. We must be careful not to let worldly influence confuse our truth in worship. Reflect if you or your church have similar confusion and mixing-up in worship. If there is, what will you do to correct it?
Come before God with humility and examine your inner-self, confess your hidden sins and ask God for forgiveness, ask God to give you courage to repent and pay the price for repentance no matter how big it is. Ask God to protect you from the influence of secular culture so that you can worship God in spirit and truth.
“East to West” – www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_J34QyY0Pk