God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

August 3 - 2 Chronicles 32-33: Hezekiah Holds Ranks, Manasseh Repents of Mistakes

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 32-33

The Message

English Standard Version

The first half of today's reading repeats Isaiah 35-36 and 37-39. The second half repeats the story of Hezekiah's son and grandson which we read yesterday. Do not skip this section! There are a few gems which will be very helpful in understanding the comments below. However, since yesterday's and today's readings are the almost the same I will skip the summary go straight into the comments.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Manasseh, who was equally as bad as his grandfather, was allowed to live because he repented.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Hezekiah encouraged his people to trust in God and it helped morale within the city.

I love the way Eugene Peterson translated this section,
Hezekiah rallied the people, saying, “Be strong! Take courage! Don’t be intimidated by the king of Assyria and his troops—there are more on our side than on their side. He only has a bunch of mere men; we have our GOD to help us and fight for us!”
Morale surged. Hezekiah’s words put steel in their spines. (32:6-8, The Message)
Think about it. Jerusalem is surrounded by 100,000+ Assyrian soldiers telling them to surrender and enjoy a better life in captivity than they have in freedom. They cannot travel anywhere. Sooner or later they will run out of food and become desperate. But Hezekiah doesn't allow their dire circumstances blind them to God's ultimate Goodness and Power. They are encouraged to trust in God. Leaders should focus on helping their followers see how God is going to make the situation right. Because Hezekiah strengthened his people, they trusted in God.

God took Manasseh's punishment away.

The story of Manasseh is similar to the Israelite king Ahab. God punished Ahab greatly because he caused Israel to worship other gods. However, Ahab repented of his mistake and God delayed his punishment. Manasseh, too, repented of his mistakes, turned to God, and was returned to Jerusalem to finish his reign. If God can take away the punishment of a terrible, no-good, very bad king, He can take away the guilt of your past. How awesome is our god!

Are you inspiring your followers to trust in God, no matter what comes before them?

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