November 22, 2022

2 Kings 21-22 (HCSB)
Judah’s King Manasseh

21 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king and reigned 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed and reestablished the altars for Baal. He made an Asherah, as King Ahab of Israel had done; he also worshiped the whole heavenly host and served them. 4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, where the Lord had said, “Jerusalem is where I will put My name.” 5 He built altars to the whole heavenly host in both courtyards of the Lord’s temple. 6 He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a great amount of evil in the Lord’s sight, provoking Him. 7 Manasseh set up the carved image of Asherah, which he made, in the temple that the Lord had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, “I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel. 8 I will never again cause the feet of the Israelites to wander from the land I gave to their ancestors if only they will be careful to do all I have commanded them—the whole law that My servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they did not listen; Manasseh caused them to stray so that they did greater evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. 10 The Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Since Manasseh king of Judah has committed all these detestable things —greater evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done—and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin, 12 this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I am about to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will shudder. 13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line used on Samaria and the mason’s level used on the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a bowl—wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will become plunder and spoil to all their enemies, 15 because they have done what is evil in My sight and have provoked Me from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until today.’ ” 16 Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin that he caused Judah to commit. Consequently, they did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.
Manasseh’s Death
17 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and the sin that he committed, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 18 Manasseh rested with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, the garden of Uzza. His son Amon became king in his place.
 Judah’s King Amon
19 Amon was 22 years old when he became king and reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. 20 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He walked in all the ways his father had walked; he served the idols his father had served, and he worshiped them. 22 He abandoned the Lord God of his ancestors and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 Amon’s servants conspired against the king and killed him in his own house. 24 Then the common people executed all those who had conspired against King Amon and made his son Josiah king in his place. 25 The rest of the events of Amon’s reign, along with his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah became king in his place.
Judah’s King Josiah
22
Josiah was eight years old when he became king and reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left.
Josiah Repairs the Temple
3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent the court secretary Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the Lord’s temple, saying, 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest so that he may total up the money brought into the Lord’s temple—the money the doorkeepers have collected from the people. 5 It is to be put into the hands of those doing the work—those who oversee the Lord’s temple. They in turn are to give it to the workmen in the Lord’s temple to repair the damage. 6 They are to give it to the carpenters, builders, and masons to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the temple. 7 But no accounting is to be required from them for the money put into their hands since they work with integrity.”
The Book of the Law Found
 8 Hilkiah the high priest told Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the book of the law in the Lord’s temple,” and he gave the book to Shaphan, who read it. 9 Then Shaphan the court secretary went to the king and reported, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the temple and have put it into the hand of those doing the work—those who oversee the Lord’s temple.” 10 Then Shaphan the court secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book,” and Shaphan read it in the presence of the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. 12 Then he commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and the king’s servant Asaiah: 13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me, the people, and all Judah about the instruction in this book that has been found. For great is the Lord’s wrath that is kindled against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words of this book in order to do everything written about us.”
Huldah’s Prophecy of Judgment
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the prophetess Huldah, wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second District. They spoke with her. 15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘Say to the man who sent you to Me: 16 This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants, fulfilling all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read, 17 because they have abandoned Me and burned incense to other gods in order to provoke Me with all the work of their hands. My wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 Say this to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord: This is what the Lord God of Israel says: As for the words that you heard, 19 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I Myself have heard you—this is the Lord’s declaration— 20 therefore, I will indeed gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place.’ ” Then they reported to the king.

Jim Carper
One of the greatest God-fearing kings, Hezekiah, was replaced by his 12-year-old son. Manasseh failed to honor God like his father. He led the nation into depravity and convinced them to do awful things. He brought back child sacrifice to Molech, the Moabite God (vs. 21:6). He seduced the people to do more evil than any of the nations around them. If there is anything worse than rebelling against God yourself, it’s leading a nation to do the same. In 21:16, Manasseh shed innocent blood until “it filled Jerusalem from one end to another.” Couldn’t this be the story of America? We shed innocent blood, promote confusion about God’s design of gender and sexuality. It’s time for the church to be honest about this. Galatians 6:5 says, “do not be deceived: God is not mocked.” This is what child abuse looks like today in our nation. Shame and ridicule are heaped on anyone who does not go along with their warped plans. We need to wake up and defend God’s ways. You might say, “America is a God-fearing nation.” Let’s not delude ourselves – we are not. Our churches can’t avoid teaching about God’s judgment of sin!



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