Summary: By focussing on king Manasseh we realise that there comes a point when God says enough is enough, but that does not mean we are beyond God's grace.
“The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back”
Focus on the idea of comparing ourselves to others.
We feel that others are close in God’s view. While we can feel like a speck in the distance.
- Based on feeling that we have just done too much wrong.
• wrong spirituality
• wrong morality.
• wrong life choices.
- What can God do with someone like me?
Sometimes we try and hide this feeling by pretending it is all ok.
But in the back of our mind there can be this question,
How Far Can I Go?
Read 2 Kings 21:1-18
How far can we go?
Look at Manasseh.
1) Manasseh reintroduces the standard of evil of the previous occupants of the land.
verse 1, 11
Quick exodus history
God waited before he allowed the Israelites to enter the land, as the sin of the people was not as bad as it could have been. The fullness needed to come … only then did God act.
Now in the days of Manasseh basically the people were saying what is wrong with all that previous owners of the land were doing? We are happy being like the ones who have been proven to be of a lower standard.
Manasseh is basically saying to God … “I think you were a little bit harsh”.
2) Manasseh reverses the spiritual gains made during the time of Hezekiah.
3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan)
Now Manasseh reverses all of that – then goes even further.
• Reintroduces the sin of Jeroboam … which was Israel’s downfall.
• Ahab’s religious standards become the new standard … also the contributoer to Israel’s downfall.
He meets and exceeds the very standard which lead to God taking the Israelites and putting them into exile.
3) Manasseh despises the temple, which is a reminder of God’s promises.
verse 4-5, 7-8.
• What the temple meant.
• How the temple gave hope and security.
By changing the nature of the place of worship Manasseh was saying that God was one among many.
We can take him or leave him.
He certainly shouldn’t have His own unique place.
It is arrogant to say there is only one way.
4) Manasseh has no problem taking lives and shedding blood.
Didn’t even hold back his own children.
Sacrificed them to an idol.
What kind of man can do that … cruel.
No he is spiritual, wanting to show complete dedication to all gods.
Shedding of the blood
This is the prophets and those who spoke against him
Historical speculation that Mansseh killed Isaiah the prophet.
5) Manasseh makes sure to cover all possible spiritual connections.
verse 3, 6.
Taking on the worship of the group in control
He consults mediums and spirits
Finding answers from the underworld and the demonic.
All other kings
As for the rest of the events in this kings life are they not written in the book of the annuals of the king.
Sometimes also their achievements are added.
Or a war that they fought.
This was for kings of Israel and Judah.
But for Manasseh
As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
There it is for all to see in clear Hebrew … He is remembered because of his sin.
After the reform of Josiah
Because of Manasseh
Before the actual fall of Jerusalem, just as Nebuchadnezzar comes into the city we are given a reminder why.
Because of Manasseh
He is the worst!!
It is all your fault Manasseh!!
Everyone in exile can look to him and blame him.
Connect to ourselves
Talk freely about how we can get to this point and feel that we have done so much wrong.
Or maybe we are carrying the burden of choices, sin, shortcomings and ongoing struggles.
We have messed up so much, and impacted the lives of others
We have left a legacy that is passing on from one generation to the next.
We have been a negative influence
We have been a bad witness.
We are defined by our actions.
We define ourselves by our actions.
We have no choice but to admit that it is all our fault.