History repeats itself. . . but does it have to?
So many times we make the same mistakes, just as our kids make the same mistakes over and over and over making us yell, “How many times do I have to tell you?”
Yet we are no better as humanity, especially as the children of Israel.
The entire Bible spends thousands of words, using hundreds of stories as illustrations shouting the same message over and over: Do not follow the way of the Nations, repent and trust.
Chronicles, Kings, the Torah all long to to teach us of the evil that will fall upon us all, if we as a people do not set ourselves apart from popular culture and trust wholeheartedly in our Commanding Officer. He is our King and it is Him who has the answers, not us.
We just have to be humble enough to hear His voice. If we are proud He won’t speak to us.
But we need to learn from the past for the sake of our children.
The Bible tells us one story of Manasseh that we need to pay very close attention to for such a time as this.
This story starts by telling us that God is very angry at Manasseh. This king, Manasseh started to reign at the tender age of 12 and reigned for 35 years.
However, he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, “according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed from before the children of Israel.”
What does that mean?
It means that this king started committing the same abominations that infuriated God against the nations that were holding Israel captive. It was because of these sins that Israel was held in bondage and slavery, urging yet another scenario for God’s rescue plan to take place, but at a high price.
You see, we can get on our knees willingly or God will create circumstances that will make us. It’s up to us.
This chapter goes through the next few verses explaining what some of these abominations were: Making their children pass through fire (ultimately child sacrifice) setting up idols in the house of God, etc.
Manasseh then led the children of Israel so far astray from God that they themselves started committing more evil than the nations that God destroyed for Israel’s sake!
Can you imagine that?
God destroying a nation for your sake, the sake of your children and your family and having the gall to go back and commit the same crimes against God and humanity, setting up worse idols and becoming even harder in heart than Pharaoh himself?
That is trashing salvation at its finest.
Remember, the wages of sin is death. Something or someone always dies because of sin. It may not be right away, like in the Garden of Eden when God told Adam and Eve that they would surely die for their sin. God let them live a long life but in the end, they died when they weren’t supposed to. His plan was for them to live, forever.
Death entered into their DNA that day but their spirit wasn’t removed from their bodies for several hundred years.
This is always what sin has done. It creates hardness, pride and arrogance to the point that we really can’t hear Him because He is resisting our pride.
So God does what He hates to do. He lifts His hedge of protection from His people and lays on them a heavy burden, he takes His people and their leader into captivity so that they will humble themselves.
Just so that THIS can happen next:
…So that the people and the leader can humbly call out to God in their distress with all of their heart and MOVE the heart of God.
2 Chron 33:11-13,
The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon. When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
So God’s heart is moved to compassion because He loves us and can bring us restoration.
This is God’s story of salvation that He keeps repeating over and over in the Bible.
The question is, which generation will stand up to be a righteous generation?
Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever.…Psalm 112:1-3
Who couldn’t use a little of that right now?
Everyone took a chance on arrogance for the sake of hope and change, now, let’s take a chance on humility for the sake of blessing and a mighty rescue from God Himself.