Scripture: “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon. And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:10-13 (ESV)
Observation: spoke (commanded, proclaimed), paid attention (incline ears, attend, give heed), commanders (princes, rulers, officials), army (trained), captured (seized, imprisoned), bound (to tie, bind), distress (afflicted, besieged), entreated (appease, seek the favor of), humbled (done, subdued), greatly (muchness, abundance), prayed (intercede, interpose, make supplication), moved by his entreaty (answered prayers, responded), heard (give earnest heed, keep on listening), plea (petition, supplication), knew (acknowledge, clearly understand, detected).
Application: This helps me to understand the heart and mind of God just a teensy bit more than before… where I trusted but couldn’t really understand how God could forgive evildoers like murderers, rapists, abusers, etc., who’ve brought on such pain and devastation to their victims and those surrounding their victims, I see a loving and just God. God doesn’t give up on those who do evil, even when He gives them over to their degrading passions (suffering without use, shameful lusts) and depraved minds (unapproved reasoning),* it is a loving act to allow them to see their very real need for Him and to see Him as the One True God.
It’s a love I can’t wrap my mind around, but a beauty I want to be more like… to give grace to those who can turn away from such evil and towards God because they see the Lord as God, Elohim, mighty and exceedingly divine; the infinite, all-powerful God Who shows by His works that He is the Creator, Sustainer, and supreme Judge of the world. This explains to me the passage that says He doesn’t know everyone who calls out His name, no matter the good or evil one does, and no matter how slight one has missed the mark and has sinned ** but those Who know their true need for Him and have subdued, yielded themselves over to, the power and will of God. How amazing and powerful!
* “Because people did those things, God ·abandoned them to [allowed them to pursue; gave them over to] ·shameful [dishonorable; degrading] ·lusts [passions]. [L Their] Women ·stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women [L exchanged natural (heterosexual) relations for unnatural ones]. In the same way, men ·stopped having [abandoned] natural ·sex [L relations with women] and ·began wanting [L were inflamed in their lust for] each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in ·their bodies [L themselves] they received the ·punishment [recompense; due penalty] for ·those wrongs [their error].
[L And since/just as] People did not ·think it was important [consider it worthwhile; see fit] to ·have a true knowledge of [or acknowledge] God. So God ·abandoned them to [allowed them to pursue; gave them over to] ·their own worthless thinking [a depraved/corrupted mind] to do things they should not do. They are filled with every kind of ·sin [unrighteousness; injustice], ·evil [wickedness], ·selfishness [greed], and ·hatred [evil; malice; depravity]. They are full of ·jealousy [envy], murder, ·fighting [strife; quarreling], ·lying [deceit; treachery], and ·thinking the worst about each other [spite; maliciousness]. They are gossips and ·say evil things about each other [slanderers; backstabbers]. They hate God. They are ·rude [insolent; haughty] and ·conceited [proud; arrogant] and ·brag about themselves [boastful]. They invent ways of doing evil. They do not ·obey [respect] their parents. They are ·foolish [senseless; undiscerning], they ·do not keep their promises [or are covenant-breakers], and they show no ·kindness [love; affection] or ·mercy [pity] to others. They know God’s ·law says [righteous decree; just requirement] that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they ·applaud [approve of; encourage] others who do them.” Romans 1:26-32 (EXB)
** “Not all those who say [L to me] ·‘You are our Lord’ [L ‘Lord! Lord!’] will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven]. On ·the last day [judgment day; L that day] many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, ·we spoke for you [L Did we not prophesy in your name…?], and ·through you we forced out demons [L cast out demons in your name…?] and did many ·miracles [L mighty works in your name…?].’ Then I will ·tell them clearly [declare to them; publicly announce to them], ‘I never knew you. ·Get away [Depart] from me, you who ·do evil [break God’s law; practice lawlessness; Ps. 6:8].’ Matthew 7:21-23 (EXB)
Prayer: Father God, I pray You continue to speak clearly to me. It’s my desire to only pursue Your best for my life and to fullfill the call You’ve placed on my life. It’s challenging but I’d rather be challenged than be without You. I’ve walked that path: I’ve heard Your warning to turn back and I’ve ignored You. The useless suffering I endured as a result left me with wounds that I could have avoided if I had heeded Your words. Thank You for Your healing work in my life, for helping me see my need for you, and for helping me see You as Elohim, mighty and powerful, and exceedingly divine. You’re works are amazing and I’m so thankful that You see me and You are near. Amen.