2 Kings 20:1-22:2
There is a view of God that He has wound up this world like a clock, set it on the shelf, and has set back to watch everything unwind. Sometimes our prayers seem to lend themselves to that kind of God. We have an example in our reading today where Hezekiah is not only going to die, but this reality has been told to him by a Prophet from God! If Isaiah came in and told me that I was going to die, I would probably believe him and go ahead and get everything in order like he said. Instead, Hezekiah cries out to God and weeps bitterly. God hears his cries and changes His will. God’s will originally was that Hezekiah would not get better but Hezekiah was able to change the will of God with his prayers and his tears. God responded to him. I want to have the faith to pray those kinds of prayers. Prayers that have God respond!
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. In short…his name in Hebrew means, “Poster Child For How to Be a Horrible King.” It’s a loose translation but it fits.
While we’re on meanings of names…Amon means “Son of the Poster Child For How to Be a Horrible King”
Paul is in an interesting position as he enters into Jerusalem. While on one hand, he says that the Gentiles do not have to keep the Law, he also recognizes that the Jews do need to keep up with their ancestral tradition. Later, in 1 Corinthians, Paul will say that circumcision or uncircumcision means nothing…and then will also say that to the Jews he became a Jew to win the Jews. Is he being contradictory? No! Paul is hitting on something here that we need to see and apply. Do not do, or refrain from doing, anything that will hinder people hearing the Gospel when you present it to them. This becomes very vague but is incredibly important, and is heavily addressed in 1 Corinthians. If there is something about the way you live that hinders people hearing the Gospel when you tell it to them, then what you are doing is wrong.