You will be driven from human society
To live with the wild animals
You will be made to eat grass like an ox
And be drenched with dew from the sky
As seven seasons pass over you
Until you learn that the Most HIGH
Rules in the human kingdom
And gives it to whomever HE pleases
(Complete Jewish BIBLE Translation)
I am continually in awe of our Beloved LORD GOD. HE indeed brings us hope through instruction and encouragement of The Scriptures (Rom 15:4). HIS timing, which brings us to this lesson in 2 Kings chapter 21, is for such a time as this. In this study we are reminded, the choice of the next American president, or any leader, belongs only to GOD.
Many Christians think only Nebuchadnezzar was taken off his throne, until he realized WHO truly rules over mankind (Rom 13:1-2). In this study in 2 Kings chapter 21 and 2 Chronicles chapter 33, we will learn that king Manasseh of Judah, was also removed from his throne until he recognized WHO GOD alone is (2 Chr 33:11-16).
Though king Manasseh’s father, king Hezekiah was a righteous king (2 Kin 18:1-7), his son Manasseh was an extremely wicked king:
- He did evil in the sight of The LORD. Not only did he do evil according to the abominations of the nations whom The LORD had dispossessed before the sons of Israel (2 Kin 21:2), He seduced the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do even more evil (2 Kin 21:9, 2 Kin 21:11, Lev 18:24-30, Deu 9:4-5).
- He rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed (2 Kin 21:3) He reestablished the worship of false idols on elevated pieces of ground.
- He erected altars for Baal (2 Kin 21:3), a false male fertility god whose worship was rooted in sexual activity.
- He made an Asherah and set it in the house of The LORD (2 Kin 21:3, 2 Kin 21:7), where he and the unrighteous nation of Judah carried out temple prostitution in the name of this false goddess known as “queen of heaven” (Jer 7:17-20).
- He worshiped all the host of heaven and served them (2 Kin 21:3) and built altars for them in two courts of the House of The LORD (2 Kin 21:5) He practiced astrology in our GOD’s very house.
- He built altars in the House of The LORD (2 Kin 21:4) He brought much idolatry into the Temple of GOD.
- He made his son pass through the fire (2 Kin 21:6) He worshiped Molech, sacrificing both infants and children to the false god.
- He practiced witchcraft and used divination (2 Kin 21:6) He practiced every form of sorcery.
- He dealt with mediums and spiritists (2 Kin 21:6) He sought out psychics and those who talk with the dead for counseling, instead of seeking out The true and living GOD (Isa 8:19).
- He shed so much innocent blood in Jerusalem, until he filled it from one end to another (2 Kin 21:16). Not only did king Manasseh murder innocent infants and children through child sacrifice, according to the Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius, king Manasseh brutally killed many righteous men of GOD, including the prophet Isaiah.
Because king Manasseh’s sins were so grave, and he led the whole nation of Judah into those sins, king Manasseh was captured by the Assyrians and brought bound into Babylon with a hook in his nose, and bronze chains on his body (2 Chr 33:11-13). King Manasseh suffered greatly in the Babylonian prison until out of distress, he pleaded with The LORD his GOD and humbled himself greatly before HIM. Our Beloved LORD GOD was moved by his pleading, heard his supplication, and returned him to his kingdom in Jerusalem. King Manasseh now knew that The LORD was indeed GOD, whereupon he truly repented, and performed deeds appropriate to repentance (2 Chr 33:14-16). He did this by:
- making Jerusalem and the land of Judah secure, through building walls and placing armies in fortified cities (2 Chr 33:14)
- cleansing the temple and purging Jerusalem of all the idolatry and altars (2 Chr 33:15)
- re-establishing the worship of only The true GOD in Judah (2 Chr 33:16)
However, because king Manasseh’s sins were so horrendous, he was buried in a garden instead of the tombs of the kings (2 Kin 21:18). And our sovereign LORD GOD would not turn from HIS wrath against Judah because all king Manasseh had done, until HE removed them from the promise land (2 Kin 23:26-27, 2 Kin 24:3-4). This is an important lesson for each one of us. Though are sins are forgiven, there will still be consequences for them. We not only have this example with king Manasseh and the nation of Judah. But we have another example in king David. Though our Beloved LORD GOD forgave him for taking Uriah’s wife, and then murdering him, he and his family would still suffer the consequences of his sins (2 Sam chptrs 11-17).
This very sad 21st chapter of 2 Kings is closes with king Manasseh’s son Amon taking the throne upon his father’s death. However he learned nothing from his father’s divine punishment. Instead he followed in his father’s sinful ways, was murdered after only reigning 2 years, and buried in a grave next to his father (2 Kin 21:19-26).
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities
For there is no authority except from GOD
And those which exist are established by GOD
Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of GOD
And they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves