“He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.” 2 Ch. 33:2
The foundation had been laid and Manasseh had a choice to make. He could either follow the path his father had carved out and continue to worship the Lord, or he could decide to be his own man and totally ignore what his father had done.
The fifteen-year-old, who hardly knew any better and was eager to escape from the giant shadow Hezekiah had cast, decided to turn to foreign nations and to emulate their worship and philosophy. “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.”
Why was foreign religion so much more appealing to the young king than the true and pure worship of his father? This is a question worth pondering, for we seem to continue to witness a similar thing in our time and appear to be losing the next generation of believers to the seduction of secularism and pagan worship. Unfortunately, our young people seem to be so eager to conform to the image of this world.
Why didn’t Manasseh find his father’s worship beautiful and appealing? Was it Hezekiah’s fault that his son, the one whom he chose as his successor, turned out to be an evil king who led God’s people astray? Of course the late king could have done a lot better job grooming and training his son concerning spiritual matters, yet ultimately it was Manasseh’s decision as far as his religion was concerned. Hezekiah was dead and buried, and he was no longer held responsible for his son’s evil ways.
What could Eli and Samuel, both godly men, have done to bring their sons to the path of holiness and righteousness. It seemed to be a little late for them to do anything when their children appeared on the scene as adults and were determined to make their own decisions.
There is obviously regret when I look in retrospect at the way we brought up our children. I have indeed made my share of mistakes raising my boys and what they have turned out to be has very little to do with my own effort, and everything to do with God’s abundant grace.
I loved my dad as a little boy, yet paid very little attention to what he was modeling for me as a husband and man, which might or might not have been a good thing, for he was an idolater. What really counts absolutely is God’s intention for me and how he maneuvered and engineered all circumstances along the course of my life to fulfill his eternal purpose. I pray he will do the same thing for my children.
Friday, November 17, 2017 7:05:00 AM