King Manasseh is the worst king in Judah’s history so far in the aria of idolatry. He is on par with Israel’s kings. God is fed up!
Manasseh is not given the title of ‘worst king’ in the bible but he earns it from me. But when I was choosing a picture to go with my post the last time, I chose from the same line as I used for previous kings. One of the bullet points said he repented and God showed mercy. That wasn’t in our reading in 2 Kings. I went looking and found it in 2 Chronicles 33. I linked it for you but I want to hold off going into detail until we reach that place in our study. The books of Chronicles are next on our agenda! I will give a quick shout out to him though and say that he removes the title I assigned him in the end.
Today, we see how fed up God became with Manasseh’s behavior. We are told that God sent prophets to warn Manasseh of the danger of following his path of idolatry. He ignored them as did the people of Judah. I tried to find out which prophets were operating during Manasseh’s time, but I failed in that attempt.
What we do know about God’s warnings is that they went unheeded and brought Judah to the point of judgment by God. God would measure Judah with the same “measuring line” and the same “plumb line” He used when judging the northern kingdom of Israel. That sounds fair to me since he was engaging in the same sins.
Manasseh wasn’t alone in his sin. The people of Judah willingly followed him into idolatry. They ran back to the high places as soon as Manasseh said they could. God doesn’t lay all the fault for Judah’s sin on Manasseh’s shoulders. “Because they have done what is evil in My sight and have provoked Me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day” (verse 15). It wasn’t a ‘one time slip’ done by a few well-placed people. It was rampant throughout the nation, even among the kingdom of Israel that God was already punishing.
God’s metaphor is clear. He will remove ALL those who sin again him. All those who practice idolatry. “And I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.” (verse 13b). I can clearly see dishes being wiped clean of the last drops of water that is on them and then being put away.
But this sets up another of God’s promises. He promised to bring them back after a time. With dishes that have been wiped clean and put away, they are ready to be taken back out and refilled with fresh food. The stale old food is gone, along with the stains it brought.
The dish to me is God’s promise and security. When God first made man He created a place of security for him. It is not the dish that has failed but the ‘food in it’ that turned. In the beginning when man sinned the ‘food’ began to turn. It took a while before it was so bad that God had to throw it out and start again. He searched for the only unspoiled piece He could find; Noah and his family. God refilled the bowl from there. Being that the ‘food’ was imperfect it began to turn bad again and God picked through it again for what was good. He found Abram and Sari, and He started again. God continued this emptying and refilling with those that remained true to Him from the people He chose. Finally He sent His own Son into the ‘bowl’ and He brought something special into the ‘bowl.’
Jesus wasn’t like the rest of the ‘food’ in the ‘bowl.’ He was of the same elements but not of the same life. EVERYTHING/EVERYONE in the ‘bowl’ had some form of ‘spoilage’ to them. If left on its own it would eventually spoil and need to be thrown out. Adding Jesus to that mix reversed the process of anything that came into close contact with Him. Instead of spoiling it became new.
God also increased the contents of the bowl. Actually it is more like He removed the dividers in His ‘divided dish’ so all people could have access to Jesus’ life giving presence. He is now patiently waiting while everyone who wants to can receive that life Jesus offers. And at the same time the parts that are spoiling continue on their path.
One day ALL the spoiled parts will be poured out and all that will remain are those who have chosen a relationship with Jesus will be what remains. And we will be clutched to His breast and cherished forever. Our relationship will provide joy to both us and God forever.
Thank You Father for Your warnings that address our ‘spoilage.’ Thank You for sending Jesus to bring life where there was only death. THANK YOU that You didn’t pour the bowl out and break it with all the times we have forced You to ‘start again.’ I don’t deserve it but I’m grateful for Your love. And I’m grateful that You are renewing me with Your love. THANK YOU Jesus for letting me ‘rub up against You.’ For loving me and calling me to Yourself. Thank You Holy Spirit for walking with me and working in me every day. For bringing me closer every moment to my Father and His Son. For placing me on ‘Daddy’s Lap.’