Fasting Devotional – Day Twenty Text: II Kings 21:1-16 Written by: Wayne Hale
Thoughts Prior to King Manasseh’s fifty-five-year reign, his father, King Hezekiah, reigned for twenty-nine years.
II Kings 18:3–4: “Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stone, and cut down the Asherah poles.”
II Kings 21:2–3: “King Manasseh did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole…”.
What a contrast from King Hezekiah who followed and worshiped the Lord, to King Manasseh who despised the Lord and worshiped idols. Manasseh’s evil deeds such as Baal worship, worshiping other gods, and sacrificing his son in a fire, provoked God to anger. Because the people of Judah followed King Manasseh’s example and did not worship God, God said in v. 12 - 15: “I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will forsake the remnant…and hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered ……;they have done evil in my eyes and provoked me to anger …”.
I might think, I have never done evil things or built high places like King Manasseh did to make God angry with me.
I’m reminded in scripture, there are serious consequences for having high places in my life ahead of God. i.e.. family, personal priorities, selfishness, work, money, etc. Can you imagine living in a time when the culture changed from one extreme to another like in Judah? I believe we are currently living in a time like this. The USA was founded on Godly and Biblical principles. Since the declaration of our independence, the culture of this country has changed dramatically. So much that the people of this country might also be provoking God to anger because of our own high places.
Could your high places be provoking God to anger? Is there anything in your life that is a higher priority than your relationship with God? As you fast, search for high places in your life to remove and commit yourself fully to the Lord!
Father, what in me pleases you? What in me provokes you to anger? I want my whole life to honor and glorify you and you alone. Give me eyes to see what you see. Give me ears to hear what you say, and give me a heart to understand, follow, and obey your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen!