IS STARTING OVER ALWAYS POSSIBLE?

IS STARTING OVER ALWAYS POSSIBLE?

According to I Corinthians 10:6 and 11, the things recorded in the Old Testament about Israel’s triumphs and mistakes, were written down as examples to the believers through the ages.  Think about this for a moment or two: God had various authors write down events from Israel’s history so that future generations could learn from the past.  George Santayana famously said that those who did not learn from history are doomed to repeat history (paraphrase).  We can learn from the people of the past.  

Monday…One of the most powerful stories of conversion in all of the Bible is the story of Manasseh.  I have read the Bible through many, many times and every time I read his story, I am amazed all over again at God’s amazing grace.  For ten years, from the time he was twelve, he co-ruled Judah with his father the godly king Hezekiah.  In all of those years, he learned nothing from watching his father and, as soon as his father died, he did his best to destroy the worship of Jehovah in Judah.  II Chronicles 33:3.

Tuesday…I cannot imagine taking the life of one of my own children, but Manasseh did precisely that.  And, he considered it an act of worship!  II Chronicles 33:6 is a sad and sordid account of infanticide.  Can you imagine God forgiving that?  Can you imagine a man coming to a place of repentance for that heinous act?  Manasseh repented!

Wednesday…Several times in Israel’s history, the temple that Solomon built was profaned.  Manasseh had the unmitigated gall to put idols in the temple.  Read all of II Chronicles 33.

Thursday…Someone has noted that, “God is never in a hurry and He is never late.”  People think they will get away with sin forever, but that never happens.  Never.  Eventually, God punished Manasseh who is widely regarded as the worst king that God’s people ever had–and that is saying something.  The king of Assyria put a hook through his nose and led him off into captivity.  In his prison cell, Manasseh repented.  He humbled himself.  I said, he humbled himself.  Hard to do for a guy who got away with sin for many years and was a king for decades.  And, that is the secret as to why God forgave him.  He humbled himself!

Friday…Manasseh had his kingdom restored.  God allowed him to return home.  He did his best to reverse all of the damage he had done.  You noticed as you read II Chronicles 33 (read also the parallel passage in II Kings 21…you will be glad you did) that although he did his best to honor God and to destroy the terrible religions he had introduced into Judah, he had done so much damage that the people…his people…would not repent.  What a lesson for us!  God may very well forgive and save us, but we can do a lot of damage to others in the meantime.