Saturday, July 9, 2016
WORSE BEGINNING, BETTER END
Dearly Beloved, WORSE BEGINNING, BETTER END "In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 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" (2 Chronicles 33:12-13 NIV). He was so young, yet so lucky to ascend the throne of his forefathers. His father was a godly man, but he chose to be ungodly. He was intoxicated with power even in his youthful days, and he misruled his subjects. He was such a cruel man that he sacrificed his own children to false gods. A stiff-necked king who would not listen to rebuke, even from a holy God. However, he ended his life doing well. The man was Manasseh, the man who succeeded his father, Hezekiah, as the king of Judah at the tender age of twelve, and ruled for fifty-five years. Being a child of a godly man, one would expect that he would follow his father’s steps. Nevertheless, he chose to follow bad examples of former kings of Israel and Judah. He even did worse than them all. Among the atrocities of his reign were: following the detestable practices of other nations; rebuilding of high places of worshipping false gods that his father, Hezekiah, had earlier destroyed; building of altars and setting up of images for false gods in God’s holy temple; practicing of astrology, sorcery, divination, and spiritism; and worst of it all, sacrificing of his own children. Tradition also holds it that he was the one that killed Prophet Isaiah. What a wicked king! Being under the divine leadership of the Almighty God, God sent many of His prophets to him and his people to warn them, but they were defiant to God’s word. Therefore, God allowed another wicked king, a king of Assyria to conquer him and take him to exile. A king who was been served now became a slave who served another king. Nonetheless, in his desolation, he remembered his God. He humbled himself before God, confessed his sins, and asked for forgiveness. Because of his true repentance, God restored him back to his throne. Having regained his kingdom, he turned back to be serving God and doing well. He extended the wall of Jerusalem; he took away all the altars and images of false gods he had placed in the temple, and started to worship the true living God. In fact, the writers of the Scriptures spoke well of his latter days (see 2 Chronicles 33). How was your past history? Have you messed up your life? Are you suffering now because of your past sins? All is not lost for you! God who restored Manasseh back can still do so to you. You can still achieve much for God, only if you can humble yourself before God. Confess your sins and turn to God. It shall be well with you! In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Pray that the ending of your life will be far better than its beginning.