Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Manasseh - Tried to Make Things Right

By Mary Vee
II Chronicles 33

From the Journals of Manasseh



Photo Courtesy
I will never forget how much it hurt when the soldiers beat me and dragged me on the long walk to Bablylon. When the Assyrians came in and captured the people of Jerusalem I felt terrible for them, even afraid. But when the soldiers found me in my hiding place and tied me with brass shackles, put a hook through my nose and dragged me away from my home everything became real.

I knew what caused all this trouble. The prophet Isaiah told us, but like the others I wouldn't listen. 

I made up my mind to walk away from the idols and advice from my frieda that took me away from the ways my father, King Hezekiah gave. I hurt the people of Jerusalem and had become a wicked king. I know what my father did and will now do those things that honor God myself...if I ever get back home.

God did hear my voice and my prayers. I meant every words of sorrow, and He knew I did. God let me go back home.

Before the attack by the Assyrians, I had let everything go. Judah seemed at peace. When reports came to me that the walls had crumbled in places and needed repair I ignored them. Who would attack us? We worshiped the gods of other nations and did whatever we could to show friendship to all the countries around us.

This is not what God wanted us to do. He wanted us to worship Him, and Him alone. We should have stood strong in the ways God taught in the Scriptures. But I didn't let the people. I can't help but sigh when I think back to the shameful things I did to men who refused to stop worshiping God.

I admit, I deserved the terrible treatment the Assyrians gave me.

To show my change of heart I set to work rebuilding the outer wall of Jerusalem, the City of David. I started west of the Gihon spring in the valley and kept rebuilding as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and circled the hill of Ophel. I made sure the wall was not only stronger, but higher. The city had to be honored and kept safe. 

I ordered military commanders to protect all the fortified cities in Judah. We would become a strong nation again. Along with military strength we also needed to change our hearts. I got rid of the foreign gods and removed the images from the temple of the Lord. Next I took down the altars I had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem and threw them outside of the city.

Once the idols and altars had been removed I fixed the altar of the Lord and offered a sacrifice to Him. I did this before all the people who remained in the city and ordered them to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 

I knew there were men and women who still went to the high places where they use to worship the idols, but this time they went there to worship the Lord their God. That isn't so wrong...is it?

Author's note-the answer to Manasseh's question is yes. God wants us to completely obey Him not just kinda obey Him. God had told the people to worship at the temple in Jerusalem.

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1. Where did the soldiers take Manasseh?
2. Why did they take him there?
3. Manasseh remembered what ____________ had done.
4. As soon as Manasseh came back to his home he decided to repair the __________
5. Why was this repair so important?
6. What did Manasseh get rid of?
7. What did Manasseh order the people to do?
8. Can anyone be ordered to do this--really---in their heart?

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