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Lessons from Old Lions |A Changed King Manasseh

After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. ~ 2 Chronicles 33:14 NLT (Emphasis Added)

It looks like Manasseh was not about to help those Assyrians take over Judah or risk being dragged off to Babylon in chains again!

Continuing on in 2 Chronicles Chapter 33:

  1. He wasted no time in securing the borders.  He walled off Judah and the public water supply from invaders.
  2. Manasseh removed the idols, including the one he carved and put in the Lord’s Temple
  3. He tore down all the foreign altars and dumped them outside Jerusalem.
  4. Manasseh was thankful. He restored the altar in the Temple and offered the proper offerings of peace and thanksgiving on it.
  5. He encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord of Israel – However, a lot of damage had been done.  They did not respect King Manasseh like they respected his father, King Hezekiah.  They continued to worship at pagan shrines even though they worshipped only Jehovah.

This story of two father-son Old Testament kings holds truths for our own nation on many levels.  We have had numerous King Hezekiah-type leaders in our nation’s history.  They attended church and got wealthier while they were in office.  They built great projects, led us into wars, forged the United States of America into a military and economic superpower; but did not always protect our freedoms.  Our King Hezekiahs kicked the can of growing evils down the road by not keeping us One Nation Under God.  Then they left office and wrote prideful memoirs.

I would rather have leaders like King Manasseh – Repentant sinners who do their best to right a whole bunch of our country’s wrongs.  One sad thing is that even though King Manasseh humbled himself, his own people never really trusted his leadership again.  So even though Manasseh worked hard to secure the nation from foreign invasion and to reinstate proper Temple worship of the One True God, Jehovah; his reputation remained as a man who did evil in the Lord’s sight.  Judah’s subjects respected King Hezekiah more; and he was a non-repentant prideful king!

It just goes to show that only God knows the heart.  We can’t trust the fickleness of humans.  God is just and He does not change.  Praise Him for loving us sinners!  We are all condemned if we fall under human judgement.  I am thankful –

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the Power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. ~ Romans 8:1-2 NLT

One Lesson from Old Lions is this: Nations are judged or blessed by God according to their leadership.  We need righteous leaders who work humbly for We the People under the guidance of  Jehovah, who is God over all.  Vote every election and vote responsibly.  Vote for leaders who seek God’s wise counsel.  Pray for Kings!   If we expect God to bless our nation, His church needs to REPENT AND PRAY!

“Father Jehovah God, You are HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! And You are LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!!!  Today we pray for those in authority over our nation.  We repent for ourselves and our nation of the sins of pride and of rebellion against You.  May our people rally behind leaders who realize that the LORD alone is God!  We pray for undeserved mercy – knowing that Your judgement looms large. LORD, SHAKE BUT DON’T BREAK!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!” 

Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your Name is on their lips, but You are far from their hearts. ~Jeremiah 12:1b-2 NLT

Bless you for following Jesus, our Messiah and King of Kings!!

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Pray for Kings

1I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.  ~ I Timothy 2:1-2 NLT (emphasis added)

Acts Chapter 13:

The Holy Spirit sent the Apostle Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey away from Jerusalem to the island of Cyprus.  When they reached the town of Paphos, they encountered a Jewish sorcerer named Bar-Jesus (Elymas in the Greek).  He was also known in the Bible as a false prophet who was very close to the governor.  Elymas interfered with the witness of Paul and Barnabas by keeping them away from the governor.  Elymas feared that the governor was a very intelligent man and may become a believer if told the truth about Jesus.  Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and stared Elymas down; then called upon God to strike the man blind so they could continue their mission.  His prayer was answered instantly and the man was blinded.  Elymas begged for bystanders to lead him away from the embarrassing scene.

Evidently the governor was watching the whole thing from a safe distance.  He was so shocked by what he saw that he became a believer in Jesus.  He had not heard the Gospel teaching about Jesus before this time; or had discounted it as being untrue.

This is a great example of why we should pray for our leaders.  Prayer changes things, Amen?  Not only will things get better in our nation, but as a result of prayers and spiritual support, some leaders may become believers like the governor of Paphos.  Do not be discouraged that all of our leaders do not become believers.  Leave that in God’s hands.  That is what Paul had to do later in the town of Caesarea.  Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem and after declaring himself to be a Roman Citizen, Paul demanded a trial in Rome.

Acts Chapters 23 & 24:

While being transported as a prisoner to Rome, Paul was taken as far as Caesarea and left there in prison to await further passage to Rome.

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Ancient Ruins of Caesarea, Israel ©Can Stock Photo/georgemuresan

In the meantime, Paul was able to witness about Jesus to Governor Felix and his Jewish wife, Drusilla.  Now Felix was very familiar with the Gospel of Christ, and he became fearful of Paul.  Instead of embracing the Lord Jesus as his Savior, Felix sent Paul back to his prison cell.  Two years passed, until Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus.  The new governor also heard Paul’s legal defense as well as Paul’s testimony of Jesus; as did the visiting King Agrippa, and the king’s sister, Bernice.  In summation, Paul literally gave an altar call to the Governor and royal guests,

27King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you do – “

28Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”

29Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”

30Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left.

~ Acts 26:27-30 NLT

So not everyone will immediately embrace our testimony as truth when we witness – even our leaders; but we can still pray for them, as Paul did.

It is importantstuff to pray for our leaders.  Why?

3This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,

 5There is one God, and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. 6He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.

~I Timothy 2:3-4 NLT

 

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