By Randi Spearman
“Manasseh…did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out…he raised up altars for Baal…and built altars for all the hosts of heaven in the 2 courts of the house of the LORD. Also, he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.” 2 Kings 21:1-3,5-6
“And the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.” 2 Chronicles 33:10
King Manasseh was very evil. He seduced the people into sinning and worshipped every idol he could get his hands on. The first half of his life was spent living wild and free. I think of all the altars we build in our own lives. What do we put before God? What do we give our time and our worship to? And how long has the Lord been speaking to us, but we won’t listen?
Is the Lord telling you to give something up so that you can give Him your full devotion? Maybe we are making a sacrifice into the fire that is not in God’s honor. Maybe we are worshipping in the House of God, but there is an altar in the Holy of Holies. And the Lord is speaking, but we will not listen.
So what happens next? Does the Lord, who loves us more than we could ever imagine, allow us to keep living in sin? Does He allow us to entice others into our rebellion?
I believe the Lord is very patient with us. But there comes a time when He says, “Okay…that’s enough.” And He speaks a little louder. Psalm 29 says, “The voice of the LORD is powerful; full of majesty; the voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, divides the flames of fire and shakes the wilderness…”
He broke my cedars and shook my wilderness when He put me in prison. He spoke the same way to King Manasseh. “Wherefore the LORD brought the Assyrians…which took Manasseh among the thorns, bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.” 2 Chronicles 33:11
And this is where the story turns around, where a life of destruction turns into a life of redemption, where a life of idol worship evolves into a life of true devotion to God.
“And when he was in his affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto Him: and He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication…Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:12-13
We’ve all got a past. We all make mistakes, some of us more than others, (me). But God works ALL things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose…And it’s not about how long and winding the road is; what’s important is that we are on the right road.
Let us tear down every altar that has been built in our lives. It doesn’t matter how it got there, or how long we’ve been worshipping at it. What matters is that we listen for the voice of the Lord and let Him divide the flames of fire burning on the altar and bring down anything that is not worship to Him.
The LORD is speaking… Are you listening?