II Kings 20-21
From the Journals of Isaiah
|a Baal idol Photo Courtesy|
I thought, really hoped, the people of Judah had changed their hearts, truly loved God and loved to follow his laws as Hezekiah showed them.
I thought they had seen and felt the joy that could only come by following his ways.
Instead they chose to do what was popular.
Manasseh was only a boy of twelve-years-old when he became king. He didn't know what he was doing.
He had friends that talked him into looking at what all the nations around Judah did. He didn't want to listen to his father's advisors.
Manasseh and his friends didn't want to stand alone in a faith worshipping the Almighty God when all the other nations around them had idols decorating their cities and villages.
Manasseh's dad, King Hezekiah, was dead. This meant Manasseh could do what he wanted as the new king. He listened to his friends and rebuilt the high places his father had destroyed. He built altars to Baal and made new Asherah poles for the people to worship like his grandfather, Ahab had done.
Manasseh bowed down to the stars and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord. I wept and tried to speak with him. He would not listen to me.
Instead he built more idols. He added altars to all the starry hosts in both courts of the Temple, and sadly, even offered his own son for a sacrifice to these idols.
He became excited and encouraged the people to join him in practicing sorcery. He even went to fortune tellers. I am so sad to say they people did as he asked. No one that he was willing to listen to rebelled or try to teach him to turn away.
Then one day he took the carved Asherah poles that he ordered to be made and put it in the temple. God's temple! The temple God said, "In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever....if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them."
But the people did not listen.
Manasseh sadly led them astray. The people of Judah did more evil than the nations God had punished before them.
One thing I can tell you, though. Manasseh may be leading the people down a wrong path and this may look like he has won, but God has already said the people of Judah will be punished for not obeying His laws.
They wouldn't have to be punished, if they would only say they were sorry.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling they are enjoying all these bad things too much to care. Come back to see what happens.
1. Who was Manasseh's father?
2. What did Manasseh want to change for what his father did?
3. Why did he want to make these changes?
4. Who tried to help him?
5. How old was Manasseh when he became king?
6. Why did the people follow him?
7. Do you think this will turn out well? Why?