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8-6-17: Roman Soldier/Manassah

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Evil King Manasseh

I. Me and We
II. God
Manasseh was not a good king at all. His father Hezikiah was a very good king, but Manasseh decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead of leading Israel into a deeper relationship with God, he worshipped other gods. Chronicles and 2 Kings list some of the evil acts of Manasseh:
Started reigning at 12 for 55 years
Rejected the acts of his father and did evil things…culmilating into sacrificing his son like the pagans did. Did much evil.
He misled Israle camsing them to do evil as well.
2 Chronicles 33:2–3 NRSV
He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had pulled down, and erected altars to the Baals, made sacred poles, worshiped all the host of heaven, and served them.
Verse 6 seems like a good overview of the extent of Manasseh’s evil activities:
2 Chronicles 33:6 NRSV
He made his son pass through fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom, practiced soothsaying and augury and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
2 Chronicles 33:5 NRSV
He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
It’s been said that as a leader goes, so goes the people…and that is true in this case. As the king, Manasseh led the people to evil acts as well.
2 Chron 33:
2 Chronicles 33:9 NRSV
Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the people of Israel.
2 Kings 21:10–12 NRSV
The Lord said by his servants the prophets, “Because King Manasseh of Judah has committed these abominations, has done things more wicked than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has caused Judah also to sin with his idols; therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such evil that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.
2 chron 33:
God, however, tries to get Manasseh’s and the people’s attention. They don’t listen. They aren’t open. They aren’t receptive to God’s invitation to a new kind of living and a better relationship.
2 Chronicles 33:10 NRSV
The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they gave no heed.
2 Kings 21:16 NRSV
Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he caused Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 33:11 NRSV
Therefore the Lord brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh captive in manacles, bound him with fetters, and brought him to Babylon.
2 Kings 21:1
The consequences were dire. They weren’t interested in God. They chose to trust gods that weren’t God. They found out that the gods they trusted, simply couldn’t deliver and couldn’t provide protection. Assyria came in and took Manasseh captive to Babylon.
2 Chronicles 33:12–13 NRSV
While he was in distress he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. He prayed to him, and God received his entreaty, heard his plea, and restored him again to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord indeed was God.
2 chron 33:12
When Jonah was in the belly of the fish, he prayed. While Manasseh wasn’t in a fish, he was in dire circumstances. Alone, broken, in prision, perhaps he cries out to God. He humbles himself and prayers....God received him…God heard him....
AND God restored him both to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.
This is incredible. This is amazing. THis is good news!
2 Chronicles 33:16 NRSV
He also restored the altar of the Lord and offered on it sacrifices of well-being and of thanksgiving; and he commanded Judah to serve the Lord the God of Israel.
2 chron
The Chronicler recounts the things Manasseh did after he was restored. He built an outer wall for Jerusalem, he took away the foreign gods and the idol from the temple. He got rid of all the latars that he had built and restored the altar of the Lord, offering sacrifices on it. He commanded Judah to serve the Lord. He was changed. He was transformed.
AND God restored him both to Jerusalem and to his kingdom.
This is incredible. This is amazing. THis is good news!
III. You and Us
The word: Hope.
There’s always hope for us…and others. When God invites us, he invites us in hope. No matter what we’ve done in the past, he offers us a new beginning.
old testament…judgement....but here…mercy. When we turn our heart to God, he listens, he forgives, he restores.
Communion (an act of hope, healing).
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