Read II Chronicles 31 – 33
Hezekiah destroys idols; first-fruits and tithes; Assyria invades Judah; Hezekiah’s death; Manasseh’s reign; Amon’s reign
And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger (II Chr. 33:6).
Mannasseh was the most evil king in the history of Judah or Israel. Everything that his father, Hezekiah, had done to bring Judah into obedience to the Lord was undone by Mannasseh. His heart was far from being in service to the Lord.
He brought back the groves and the idols. He worshipped many heathen gods. He even built altars to those false gods in the house of the Lord.
The wickedness of Mannasseh would be felt for many years after his reign of evil ended. One only need to look upon this verse to see the ungodly lifestyle of this king. He truly worked to turn the nation of Judah away from the Lord to the worship of all manner of evil.
Even with the godly heritage of Hezekiah, Mannasseh fell far into the trap of Satan. He chose to go completely against God and serve all manner of false gods. What would cause one who knew of the great works of the Lord to go so far astray? One of the enemies greatest tricks is to blind us to the truth that only comes from God. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart (Eph. 4:18).
Today's society offers even more enticements of evil than there were in the time of Mannasseh. Psychics and witchcraft have escalated throughout the years. Such things have become an accepted part of society. Some have even turned their evil craft into a multimillion dollar business. The scripture is clear that such practices are rooted in the power of the devil. And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour (Acts 16:16-18).
We must watch and pray to guard ourselves from being drawn into such ungodliness. The devil has deceived many with such evil practices. Many feel there is no harm in dabbling a bit, perhaps checking out their horoscope, numerology or tarot cards. This is just like the mouse who thinks just a nibble of the cheese will surely not spring that trap.
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10).
Thought for Today:
Giving in order to gain prosperity from God will never work out, but the Scripture teaches us to give Every man according as he purposeth in his heart (II Cor. 9:7).
By Hezekiah's offering of the king's portion (share) of his substance for the Burnt Offerings (II Chr. 31:3). Burnt Offerings were wholly consumed, symbolic of total surrender, and offered as a sweet savour to the Lord (Lev. 8:28; Num. 15:3). God offered His King's portion in Christ Jesus who, in total surrender on the cross, was wholly consumed, even unto death. Christ . . . hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour (Eph. 5:2).
31:10 store, abundance; 31:14 oblations, free will offerings; 31:16 courses, assigned tasks; 31:18 set office, appointed office; 31:19 every several city, every city; 32:6 comfortably, encouragingly; 32:8 rested themselves, relied; 32:17 rail on, belittle; denounce; 32:18 affright, frighten; 33:11 fetters, chains.
Prayer Suggestion: Kneel in a humble spirit of reverence as you pray to the Lord (I Kings 8:54).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:157