My favorite season has always been Fall, but I miss the Summer warmth. The Autumn reminds us to appreciate the warming sunshine before winter. My favorite holiday was always Halloween, and I understand that desire to deck out the decorations like crazy… But ever since I’ve drawn closer to the Lord, I’ve drawn away (or tried to) from ghouls and ghosts. I never liked the blood and gore, I’ve removed vampires and zombies in my celebrations. I’ve never been a fan of ghost tours, but they bring big bucks to struggling historic sites. I don’t believe in ghosts (even if Casper IS friendly). I DO BELIEVE in angels and the Heaven’s Spirit army here among us. I believe in “buffering angels” in near-accidents, those miracle misses, I believe in warriors fighting evil in the unseen realm. We surely have felt day to day life interventions by Good over evil. God IS fighting our battles and He has won the war.
I have no use for witchcraft, but maybe I still have a couple witch hats in the costume collection. We are not perfect and live in fun portrayals over going overboard, but we must be careful not to weaken our worship. I believe in good apples over eating tainted ones. Snow White agrees… I believe in spider webs and want to put a giant one over my house one year.
I believe we need to skip practicing divination over PRAYER. Prayer works. But who are we to petition without first humbling ourselves to say “You’ve got this Lord.” Praise of God must come first. Praise Prayers Petition. Provisions is what God always brings. Some of our problems are what others would praise to have. Count our blessings.
King Manasseh, son of Hezekiah (a mostly good king), practiced EVIL divination and witchcraft, worshiped false gods, worshiped the stars and moon falsely, and sought mediums. He angered the Lord.
I don’t think I need to understand divining rods but when I was a child I did watch a man, with one Y-shaped stick, try to find a best placement of a new house and perhaps a new well out in a farmers field. This was for a friend of a friend and I don’t know how much they paid him. And who knows how what he was thinking – the stick was Y shaped and the long end would lean towards the ground, like a needle on a mechanical gauge. I would like to think if one earnestly prayed for where do dig for water, the Lord would give you a sense without needing the stick. I know prayer works. I do believe that God gave me a hunch that day I lost my crab overnight in the house, I prayed, I was led to the exact corner of the laundry room where I found him, covered in dust. I believe in God’s power and mercy and grace.
I’m sure king Manasseh was shaken up well by God’s punishment, by “letting” him get overrun by foreign armies and taken away to Babylon (*they put a hook in his nose!*). The scriptures say Manasseh repented BIG TIME. SORRY LORD! Perhaps this is where the phrase “oh man!” could be applied, “oh MANasseh, you went too far”… and God watched you go there too…
“took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly…”
Manasseh repented and repaired and removed false and brought back worship of TRUTH. God intended His HOPE for the people to continue thru that line of David to when Jesus would arrive. Repentance and restoration, this is for us, for all, and all thru Jesus.
What about us? Can we drift and go down wrong paths? Yes. Can we repent and return to His Path, His Worship? Yes Yes. YES!!!!
Over and over again we are taught how others went astray and we have to be careful ourselves not to be whisked away from our Godly sense, an uncommon sense as well as our common sense of right and wrong. Just like we shouldn’t indulge in OVERDOING it with all the yummy but cheap glossy candy bars lining wide paths of destruction to our sensible eating, we must choose wisely (with wisdom) to FOLLOW THE LORD and not the glitzy lights of false gods or goo. Go for the BEST candy sweets in moderation, and the NARROW path of sweet salvation with FULL devotion.
I am not perfect, no one is, just Jesus IS perfection. Yet we can try fresh each day to sacrifice our own glitz to follow His True Light.
Manasseh made amends, we can make AMENS and believe in the forgiveness of God and repent.
Repent and be restored.
*and WHEW, Thank You God!
2 Chronicles 33
Manasseh King of Judah
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” In both courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.” But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 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.
Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah.
He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself—all these are written in the records of the seers. Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.