So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles…”
2 Ch. 33:11
The Lord might have attempted to speak to Manasseh through various means, yet they didn’t seem to come across to the king, for he continued to do whatever he had been doing in his worship. Not until he encountered great difficulty in his life did he come to realize that the Lord was indeed attempting to speak to him. When all things were going so well, he could afford to ignore the Lord and became deaf to his voice; and it was in a time when troubles came that the king started to seek God’s presence.
It seems to me rather foolish for us to seek the Lord when we are in some sort of trouble and perfectly content to having nothing to do with him when things are rosy and good. If we cultivate a good habit of praising the Lord in thickness, this may render it unnecessary for the Lord to bring forth thinness in our lives to cause us to turn to him. Indeed, troubles and suffering are inevitable in a world ridden by sin, yet we may make them less inevitable by heeding God’s commands and praising his holy name at all times.
That was what transpired in Manasseh’s life when suddenly calamities fell and he was ill-prepared for them. “So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner…” Obviously the trouble didn’t occur to the king capriciously; it was the Lord who engineered the adverse circumstances in his life, hoping that through them the king could finally hear his voice.
Why is it easier to hear the voice of the Lord in sorrow than in joy? I often wonder. Why can’t we listen to Him in good times so that it will not be necessary for God to shout to us in times of calamity?
Of course there is really no guarantee that the Lord will cease speaking to us through our sorrow and difficulty if we always heed his bidding in all things in time of peace and joy. The Lord is sovereign over all and the moment we think we have him pinned down, he escapes from our grip and renders our understanding of him utter nonsense. It’s essential, however, that we listen to him no matter what the circumstance is, for the Lord can communicate to us through whatever means he deems suitable, and he will never quit until he accomplishes his purpose. What we need to do is to train both our ears and hearts so that we won’t miss his message when it’s timely given. It seems reasonable to assume that a drastic measure of communication will not be necessary to deploy if he can easily get his message across.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:27:00 AM