Beware of a Rebellious Heart

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

2 Chronicles 33:9-10 (NIV)
But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.

2 Chronicles 33:9-10 (MSG)
But Manasseh led Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem off the beaten path into practices of evil exceeding even the evil of the pagan nations that God had earlier destroyed. When God spoke to Manasseh and his people about this, they ignored him.
*******************************************************
“So Manasseh caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to sin, by doing more evil than the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the sons of Israel. Now the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.” -AMPLIFIED

The account given of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, is not long here in 2 Chronicles. (To cross-reference this account you can look at 2 Kings 21.) Once Hezekiah died we find a very young Manasseh crowned as king. He was just twelve years old when he became king. Unlike many of the other young kings, it is not noted that he had any godly counsel or leadership and at such a tender age; hence why we should not be surprised that he was easily seduced from following his father’s example.

We will remember that Hezekiah, Manasseh’s father, had taken great pains to abolish the land of Judah of every form of idolatry. Yet, we find Manasseh, who turned out to be the wickedest king of Judah, reversing all those reforms and even doing things that were much worse. The first six verses of 2 Kings 21 give us a very good idea of the rebellious spirit within Manasseh.
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king. He ruled for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. In God’s judgment he was a bad king—an evil king. He reintroduced all the moral rot and spiritual corruption that had been scoured from the country when God dispossessed the pagan nations in favor of the children of Israel. He rebuilt all the sex-and-religion shrines that his father Hezekiah had torn down, and he built altars and phallic images for the sex god Baal and sex goddess Asherah, exactly what Ahaz king of Israel had done. He worshiped the cosmic powers, taking orders from the constellations. He even built these pagan altars in The Temple of God, the very Jerusalem Temple dedicated exclusively by God’s decree (“in Jerusalem I place my Name”) to God’s Name. And he built shrines to the cosmic powers and placed them in both courtyards of The Temple of God. He burned his own son in a sacrificial offering. He practiced black magic and fortunetelling. He held séances and consulted spirits from the underworld. Much evil—in God’s judgment, a career in evil. And God was angry.” -2 Kings 21:1-6 (MSG)

We notice in our text that Manasseh not only participated in these heinous sins, but he led the people of Judah in them as well. He caused the people of Judah to go astray and sin. This is very disheartening; for they allowed themselves to be influenced by a child and even participated in his sin. This makes us wonder how committed to the Lord their hearts had really been?

Even the Chronicler had nothing good to say about Manasseh at this point of time in his life. The Voice Translation tells us; “Manasseh corrupted Judah and the people of Jerusalem until they were more evil than the nations whom the Eternal had destroyed before the Israelites. Their minds were so full of sin that they didn’t hear the Eternal asking them to return to His ways.”

The people were so full of sin and so caught up in their sinful ways that they either chose to ignore God’s voice calling to them or their ears were so stopped up that they could not hear Him. They paid no attention to God and they refused to listen to His admonitions and reproofs to turn away from their sin. We can even find in the book of Jeremiah what God’s response what to this rebellious people:
“Then the Lord said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me [interceding for them], My heart would still not be [turned with favor] toward this people [Judah]. Send them away from My presence and out of My sight and let them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Those [destined] for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for famine, to famine; those for captivity, to captivity.”’ I will appoint four kinds of destroyers over them,” says the Lord, “the sword to slay, the dogs to tear and drag away, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and to destroy. I will make them an object of horror to all nations of the earth because of Manasseh [the despicable] son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for the [evil and detestable] things which he did in Jerusalem.” -Jeremiah 15:1-4 (AMP)

“A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers-including even his power to revolt…It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower.” ~C. S. Lewis

God had enough of this rebellious people and their comeuppance was about to enter their lives. God will not tolerate a rebellious spirit, or a divided heart. Scripture tells us:

* “For rebellion is as [serious as] the sin of divination (fortune-telling),
And disobedience is as [serious as] false religion and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you as king.” -1 Samuel 15:23 (AMP)

* “Evildoers foster rebellion against God; the messenger of death will be sent against them.” -Proverbs 17:11 (NIV)

* “The Master said: “These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their hearts aren’t in it. Because they act like they’re worshiping me but don’t mean it, I’m going to step in and shock them awake, astonish them, stand them on their ears. The wise ones who had it all figured out will be exposed as fools. The smart people who thought they knew everything will turn out to know nothing.” –Isaiah 29:13-14 (MSG)

* “If you pay attention now and change your ways, you can eat good things from a healthy earth. But if you refuse to listen and stubbornly persist, then, by violence and war, you will be the one devoured. These things were spoken by the very mouth of the Eternal.” -Isaiah 1:19-20 (VOICE)

* “For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.” -Hebrews 3:15-19 (MSG)

My friend, be careful of the sin of rebelliousness. Insisting on having your own way with God will not get you very far and there will certainly be a high price to pay.

“For there is no one so great or mighty that he can avoid the misery that will rise up against him when he resists and strives against God.” ~John Calvin

My Prayer:
Father God, forgive me of the rebellious spirit within me. I realize that I am nothing without you. You are my All-in-All and without you in my life I am nothing. I submit to your will, oh Lord. I surrender everything to you; all my hopes and dreams. Lord, have your way in my life.

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