Some Hurried Thoughts On Writing & King Manasseh
I wish I had more time to write.
To just pour out the thoughts swirling in my mind. I reason things through when I write, it is both relaxing and a means of growth for me.
This month was the 31 days of writing challenge. I have participated the last few years and was looking forward to it again this year. It’s always been a time of painful growth – 31 days of writing on a focused subject.
As the date approached I kept feeling a quiet peace about not participating publicly. There are so many voices – voices with good ideas and thoughts and challenges – and sometimes I miss the One that I should be listening to. But I felt the Lord telling me to let it go and focus instead on other writings – mainly the Genealogy of Jesus series that I wrote two years ago; 25 days of counting down to Christmas with 25 stories of characters from His genealogy as recorded in Matthew.
I wrote the series two years ago for our family advent devotions. I shared it on here and it’s been spread around a bit, but I have never been happy with the writing of it. It’s a bit dry. It lacks a connection for children. I have tried over the past two years to fix it, but it’s always fallen to the wayside with other projects.
But this month I determined to finish it. The 31 days of writing was the perfect motivation to propel me forward – I had 25 stories, surely I could update one per day; bringing the stories a little bit more alive, a little bit more inviting for young ones to listen to.
So the process started. And, can I just say, going over one’s own work is painful. Some of it was just plain bad writing. Others of it was just … boring. Knowing what to cut, how to rewrite it, what to add … so.very.painful.
But it is done! The entire series has been revised, and while it may be revisited in future years as I grow, it’s now more friendly to read out loud. There is a little editing being done to it and then all of the current genealogy content will be updated.
I have been touched anew with the power of God while reading through these stories of men and women. One would be fully devoted to the Lord and then the son would build idols and sacrifice his own children to false gods. Then his son would repent and turn back to the Lord … and on and on. Each person fully bearing their own responsibility before God as to whether they would live within His laws or forge their own, sinful way.
One story that I have been enjoying immensely is that of King Manasseh. Do you know him? I had forgotten about him, even though I read his story each year.
His story can be found in Kings and in the Chronicles. You can read his story in full in 2 Chronicles 33 but I just want to share a little of his story.
King Manasseh was an evil king with a heart set on doing evil. He built idols and altars for them. He had his own children burned as offerings to his idols. He worshiped the sun, moon and stars and built altars for them in the temple of God. He had the image of one of the idols carved into the temple of God – the beautiful temple that Solomon had built with the finest of materials and workmanship for the worship of God.
It tells us in verse 9 that King Manasseh led the people to do more evil than the nations whom God had destroyed before Israel moved into the land.
Let that sink in a moment. That is insane!
God appealed to Manasseh to change his ways and he would not. And so God allowed the Babylonians to capture him. They put a ring through his nose and shackles on his arms and led him back to their land.
From his great distress Manasseh calls out to God in humility. He is at the bottom, there is no lower he can go and he knows where true deliverance lies.
The compassion of God is immense! You can see it even in the way God allowed him to be captured; it was all a part of God drawing Manasseh to Himself.
I was deeply moved in reading that story and with the greatness of God in saving this very wicked king. How often do I look at people within my own social circle or those within political circles and feel like they are so far gone?
How often do I feel like situations are so bleak and helpless?
And how often do I remember that God is merciful and working on drawing people to Himself, for His glory and honor?