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2 Kings Chapter 21 (ESV)
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7 And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. 8 And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
- It is almost incomprehensible how Manasseh could become such an evil king. His action seemed to be so far from that of his father Hezekiah. He re-constructed the idols and worship places which his father destroyed. To make it worse, he has shown total disrespect to his forefathers’ God. The Scripture went into quite a bit of details regarding what he did to transform God’s temple into evil worship.
- Manasseh’s brutal, idolatrous reign led God to pronounce irrevocable judgment on Judah. What Manasseh’s lengthy rule did was to impress a pattern on Judah’s society. That pattern became so deeply ingrained that all Josiah’s efforts at reform were unable to change it. Habakkuk, who ministered in Josiah’s time, complained to God that Judah’s society was marred with entrenched injustice despite restoration of temple worship (Hab 1:2-4).
- In families and in groups and communities, as in Manasseh’s Judah, the lives we live can set the pattern for future generations.
Loving God, You are the giver of all we possess, the source of all of our blessings.
We thank and praise You. Thank You for the gift of our children.
Help us to set boundaries for them, and yet encourage them to explore.
Give us the strength and courage to treat each day as a fresh start.
May our children come to know You, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.
May Your Holy Spirit help them to grow in faith, hope, and love, so they may know peace, truth, and goodness.
May their ears hear Your voice. May their eyes see Your presence in all things.
May their lips proclaim Your word. May their hearts be Your dwelling place.
May their hands do works of charity. May their feet walk in the way of Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Lord. Amen.
“You Raise Me Up” - www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7tGUNVrqPs