2 Chronicles 33
Focus Verse: And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. (13)
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord for many years. God warned him to stop his evil ways, but he refused to listen. It was only when God punished him by allowing the king of Assyria to take him as a prisoner that Manasseh listened. Humiliated and imprisoned in a place that was not his kingdom, verse 12 of this chapter says that Manasseh humbled himself greatly before God and sought His favor, mercy and forgiveness. God heard the prayer of Manasseh and restored him to his throne because he knew that Manasseh’s repentance was sincere.
For the rest of his life, Manasseh only offered sacrifices to the Lord. He only served the Lord and he encouraged the people that he ruled to only serve the Lord as well.
It often takes us having to hit rock bottom before we realize that the Lord is God. However, it doesn’t have to take that. In the New Testament, Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Blessed also are those who have not experienced the chastisement of the Lord and yet know that He is God.
2 Chronicles 34
Focus Verse: In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols. (3)
One is never too young to seek God. One is never too young to attempt great things for God. One is never too young to expect great things from God (shout-out to William Carey here). Josiah is a great example of a young person who was fully sold-out for his Creator. Later in this chapter, we read of how he pledged to follow the Lord and keep His commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul. This is what God requires of everyone who follows Him. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Focus Verse: But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul. (16)
God used the bravery of this young man to save Paul’s life. The Jews who were plotting to kill Paul had a lot more power and influence than he did, but he was not intimidated by that. Perhaps he was not intimidated because he had been taught by his uncle, Paul, and his mother, Paul’s sister, to trust in God.