2 Chronicles 32-33
(Hezekiah Passes the Torch)
May 13th


Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 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.

- 2 Chronicles 33:1-3 (NRSV)

Summary of Chapters

This duo of chapters recalls the transition from Hezekiah to the subsequent generations and provides additional accounts of Hezekiahís faith. Chapter 32 notes that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked Judah and taunted the people with insults of the LORD. He declared that they were foolish to depend on their God when no other gods had ever protected his enemies. Sennacherib was feeling pretty confident until the LORD sent an angel to annihilate his troops and then his own sons murdered him while he worshipped his false god.

Manasseh succeeded his father, Hezekiah, as king, and presumably was named after the northern tribe that had split from Judah. Chapter 33 records that he was an evil man who set up idols in the temple of the LORD and sacrificed his own son in the fire. ďWhen God spoke to Manasseh and his people about this, they ignored him (33:10 - MSG).Ē

Consequently, the LORD allowed him to be taken captive and brought to Assyria with a hook in his nose. Ouch! Then Manasseh must have remembered his fatherís lessons regarding Godís compassion and so he prayed to the LORD. The LORD was merciful because he loves all of us. Therefore, he brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem where he rebuilt the wall and restored the temple, but the people continued to worship false idols.

Anon, his son, succeeded him. He was all evil and did not repent, so his officials assassinated him and made Josiah king.

Reflection and Application

Hezekiahís actions are relevant to us: When in trouble, do everything you can and trust God to do the rest. Hezekiah re-routed water sources in an engineering feat that was very impressive given the state of tools and technology eight centuries before Christ. He also built defenses, but trusted in the LORD, even when they were surrounded during a prolonged siege. The LORD was faithful and sent an angel to defeat the Assyrians.

Itís a bad idea to insult God as Sennacherib did. He placed himself above God and declared himself to be more powerful. People who have this type of attitude usually donít persist for long. Itís one thing for us to be angry with God and disappointed and express our frustration. I believe that God welcomes that type of discourse. But itís an entirely different matter to say he is powerless and inferior to us. Yet there are many in our culture who make this claim. Be prepared to express the Truth.

If we believe in God and want to follow him wholeheartedly as Hezekiah did then we must try to attune ourselves to God so that we donít miss his messages. Chapter 33 verse 10 notes that ďThe LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.Ē This is also a bad idea. Maybe they did not intentionally ignore him but were so caught up in other aspects of their life that they couldnít hear him or couldnít make time to listen. However, Manasseh eventually received forgiveness, reminding us that no matter what we have done, God will forgive us Ė if we repent before itís too late.

The highway to heaven is a toll-free roadway paved with Godís mercy and forgiveness. Our sins can be tossed on the side of the highway and left behind, but we first have to accept his invitation and direct our car onto His entrance ramp.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is the most impressive engineering feat that you have ever observed?
    2. What forces have trapped you in a prolonged siege today?
    3. How do we find the faith to trust in God when the evil ones seem to be winning?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we acknowledge that you can defeat any enemy. Please help us to turn to you and listen to what you have to say to us.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Engineers

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36 (Exile from Judah)

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