Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015 “Lessons Learned”

” When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.  When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” (2 Chronicles 33: 12-13)

Good Morning Children of the Living God!

   In 1970, the group Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young recorded a song written by Graham Nash entitled “Teach Your Children Well.” The opening verse of this song that focuses on lessons learned from our parents goes like this:           You who are on the road
Must have a code, you try to live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye

The wisdom of this advice would have served the rulers of the kingdom of Judah well, for there were most definitely lessons learned from both godly and ungodly rulers by their sons and grandsons who came to power. In the Book of  Chronicles, we read that in the kingdom of Judah there seemed to be a constant swing between good, godly rulers and rebellious, ungodly rulers. This pattern continued with the son of good king Hezekiah…Manasseh. Menasseh was just a boy of twelve when he took the throne, but his reign would last for fifty-five years. It was said of him, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord. It makes you wonder what it was he learned from his father and why he turned to idol worship and to the detestable practice of human sacrifice…his own sons nonetheless…and the practice of sorcery, divination, witchcraft, and consulting with mediums. This made me curious, so I went back a chapter and read this of his father, Hezekiah. “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown to him;”  Later, we learn, Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the nation, and the Lord withheld his wrath. I wonder what impressions this left on the heart of his young son? Scripture tells us that “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15) Perhaps Menasseh became angry with God because of his father’s affliction. Perhaps his father’s pride after his miraculous healing caused him to reason that it was not God, but self-reliance, which was the model for living. As he grew and assumed the position of royalty, being young, he would have been counseled by older, and perhaps ungodly, men that led him on the path of wickedness. None of this bode well for him. But perhaps when he saw what he had reaped, he remembered how years before his father turned from his pride and also sought God’s forgiveness…and he prayed, repenting before Almighty God, and, like his father Hezekiah, he experienced this mercy and was convinced that it was God, not he, that was truly in control. Fathers…teach your children well. “Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Set a godly example for your children and grandchildren. They are watching you. Let’s pray!

Glorious God of Eternity; Raise up a right, godly, humble spirit within us, that those who see us might know that You are Lord indeed. Take away our pride that we might truly glorify Your Name in all areas of our lives. We pray this in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen!

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