Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Saturday, December 22, 2007

His ears shall tingle

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served them.

And he built altars in the house of the LORD...But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spoke by his servants the prophets, saying, Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. (2 Kings 21:1-12)

When I began to read First Kings I was dumb struck at the wickedness that was so prevalent in the heart of the people of Israel and Judah, the further I read the more amazed I was at their wickedness (often reflecting the very wickedness of my own heart) and God's great patience with His wayward children. As I transitioned into Second Kings things just seemed to get even worse! That of course doesn't mean there weren't times of loyalty and love towards God, but it just seems like the good times were so few and far in between. When I came to the following passage and read the wicked things Manasseh did I was horrified even further (the King James uses this phrase: "And he made his son pass through the fire") at his behavior...and his heart. And at the same time, God is just and dealt with this corrupt king. He declares that when He brings judgment down "whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle." When God does something, HE DOES IT. What struck me even further is that while this evil God promised to bring was astonishing in its (just-full) severity, Manasseh was dealt with individually the moment after he breathed his last breath. As horrific as earthly judgment can be, so much worse is the eternal for those who have not found their hope in Christ.