Original Entry Date 10/8/2016: God has a desire for His creation to worship Him but then the question arises….. What does He consider true worship to look like exactly?
Let’s look at 2 Chronicles 33 and read about Manasseh who was made king over Judah at the age of 12!
His father, Hezekiah, had brought Judah back to God while under his rule but sadly, Manasseh was one of those “kings who did evil in the site of the Lord.” Undoing all that his father Hezekiah had done for Judah and the Lord.
2 Chronicles 33:3-9 NKJV:3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem shall My name be forever.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. 7 He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; 8 and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers—only if they are careful to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.” 9 So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.
You can imagine that God was pretty ticked off about all this BUT He always gives His children a chance to repent and change their ways. The same goes for us today, if we are going the wrong The Holy Spirit will convict us as a warning. God may send a fellow believer to speak a Word to you or you may read something, hear a sermon, God could use ANYTHING as a way to get your attention. Its the gentle nudge! But if you ignore the gentle nudge, God will allow you to walk out of His Presence and experience the consequences. This is out of love NOT because He wants to see us hurting and damaged. His desire is for us to return to Him, but we have all been given free will to do what we want.
One thing to be clear on is that hardships will come even when we are under God’s wing. Not every hardship means that we are walking out on God. We are tested and tried by those wonderful trials of growth, but that will need to be another post lol.
Here we have Mansseh turning everyone’s heart away from God and let’s see what happens.
2 Chronicles 33:10-13 NKJV:10 And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen. 11 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. 12 Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
It took a huge disaster for Manasseh to relieze what he had done. When we read in verse 11 that he was bound with hooks and bronze fetters, this is a symbol of how sin will imprison a person.
2 Chronicles 33:14-17 NKJV:14 After this he built a wall outside the City of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate; and it enclosed Ophel, and he raised it to a very great height. Then he put military captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. 16 He also repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
Manasseh has a change of heart, returns to Judah and cleans house!!!! As you may recall from a previous post of mine: Manasseh is cleaning the temple, throwing out all idols, and repairing the altars of peace and thankfulness; this is all a symbol of us cleansing our inner being and repairing our relationship with God when we turn or return to Him.
Verse 17 states that even though Manasseh commanded the land to worship God alone, they still went to the high place to sacrifice but only to our God. The high places are those where Baal was worshipped. This shows that those people did not legitimately return to TRUE worship of God. People will worship God in ways that are not true worship to Him. As I was reading and writing this I hear God Speak:
“True worship is from the heart (the altar within the temple). The high places are where those who are sacrificing WANT to be seen. To truly worship me it must be in Spirit and in Truth.”
John 4:23-24 NKJV:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”