Humble . . .

Vol.5, No. 25 – July 5, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis2 Chronicles 33:12

And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. –2 Chronicles 33:12

It was said of the young man in the church, He sowed his wild oats; the harvest was a failure! God gave him a second chance. Does that sound familiar?

He blew it. He paid for it. He confesses. God forgave him. Chapter 33 is the story of a 67-year-old king, King Manasseh, the worst ruler to sit on David’s throne. An unmitigated villain, he sinisterly progresses from evil, to much evil, to more evil (33:2, 6, 9). You want a list. Idolatry, the occult, oppression, child sacrifice, and widespread murder. Topping it off, the desecrating of God’s Temple with pagan altars. It does not seem it can get much worse.

Lessons in the perils of leadership:

(According to legend) The sword of Damocles is suspended over Manasseh’s head. This is when Damocles speaks in extravagant terms of his sovereign’s happiness. Dionysius invites him to a sumptuous banquet, seats him beneath a naked sword, suspended from the ceiling by a single thread. (Whoops! How did he go down that far?)

Manasseh’s life is indeed hanging by a thread. God cuts the thread (I wonder if reluctantly, well, no, God is quite interested in the ones He creates – He is not reluctant at all with our confession.). God cuts the thread by means of the Assyrian army. For twelve long years, Manasseh rots in a damp and dirty dungeon. In his distress and frustration, conviction and repentance floods his soul. Manasseh humbles himself . . . and prays.

How can people, seeing such a turn-around, not be moved to hope. God’s hope is always available to those who feel abandoned.

In the forgiveness of Manasseh, the penitent sinner receives assurance that God will forgive even the most guilty. The account of his closing years shows that even a career of desperate wickedness in the past need not hinder the penitent from rendering acceptable service to God and ending his life in the enjoyment of Divine favor and blessing. –Matthew Henry

But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. –Psalm 130:4

Manasseh actually has to get in line with Samson, David, Jonah, Peter, and the Prodigal Son. True repentance results in a fundamental change, a radical reversal, and the fruit produced in keeping with repentance.

  1. Manasseh destroys his pagan gods
  2. Manasseh repairs the altar of the Lord
  3. Manasseh has a new love relationship with the Lord
  4. Manasseh now, in humility, knows that the Lord, He is God

Life Application

God gives Manasseh twenty more years, with a fresh start, to give God His glory!

I wish there were some wonderful place called the Land of Beginning Again, where all our mistakes, and all our heartaches, and all of our poor selfish griefs could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door, and never be put on again. –L. F. Tarkington

Turn-around’s give hope. What is the condition of your hope today?

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. –1 John 1:8-10

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!

Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

July 5, 2020

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