“Don’t create a massive process to process forgiveness, love, and acceptance.”~TB
When you regularly walk with God, you will notice how quickly He is to forgive us when we screw up. He doesn’t read a list of past offenses, He simply acknowledges your repentance and moves on. We know this, yet we still hold the offenses of our peers to a higher standard. How arrogant and how foolish! God doesn’t beat us up because He knows that in order for you to grow, you must be given the space and grace to do so. When you look at a person, in the same way, failing to acknowledge their growth or change, well, that says more about you than the other person.
I admit, there are times where I get annoyed with my dad when he advises me to move on from offenses. In my frustration, I’d rather wallow in my “rightness” rather than extend the same space and grace that God gives me on a daily basis. I humbly laugh at my misguided nature and continually ask God to improve my resilience in that area. I’ve come to realize that my dad is not trying to diminish/erase my experience, but rather, he’s encouraging me to love people as God loves me. I share this with you to say, whatever the offense, whatever the reason, right or wrong, move on. God gives credit where credit is due, and we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So let God do the judging.
Are you letting a convoluted process hinder your walk with Christ?
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1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD ; he guides it wherever he pleases.
2People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
3The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
4Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
8The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.
9It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
13Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
14A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.
16The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
17Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.
19It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
20The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
21Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust.
23Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
24Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.
25Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.
26Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
27The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.
30No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD .
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD .
“Drown out the noise of evil and fleshly desires so that you can hear His voice.”~TB
In today’s world, so many voices, opinions, perspectives, and the like can overtake the mind, leading you to feel overwhelmed, confused, and off task. Choose carefully the voices you allow in your head, as they are not created equal. Some will tell you that evil is good. Some will tell you that you’ll always be your past. Some will outright lie! Friends, remember that in this world, we still have to be mindful of the things we can and cannot see. If the opinions and voices of others is a foothold for you, rest assured the devil will pour salt in that wound. Rather than succumb to it, remember the voice that truly matters.
If you allow Him, God will reveal the tricks and traps that can snare you into neutral territory. One of the biggest things that you must do each and every day is to quiet the noise of your life so that you can hear the gentle voice of God. He will never forcefully shout to get your attention, which is why you must seek, ask, and listen. Sometimes we can get so caught up looking for our answers, we fail to listen to the best answers, His. So leave the confused thinking behind, the voices and opinions of society at the door, and rely on the voice that knows best. When you drown out the nonsense that is a byproduct of living in the world, then you can discern how to walk and live in step with God’s will for your life.
Are you ready to drown out the nonsense and listen to the Truth?
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1Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and a fool.
2Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.
3People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD .
4Wealth makes many “friends”; poverty drives them all away.
5A false witness will not go unpunished, nor will a liar escape.
6Many seek favors from a ruler; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!
7The relatives of the poor despise them; how much more will their friends avoid them! Though the poor plead with them, their friends are gone.
8To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.
9A false witness will not go unpunished, and a liar will be destroyed.
10It isn’t right for a fool to live in luxury or for a slave to rule over princes!
11Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
12The king’s anger is like a lion’s roar, but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13A foolish child is a calamity to a father; a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.
14Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the LORD can give an understanding wife.
15Lazy people sleep soundly, but idleness leaves them hungry.
16Keep the commandments and keep your life; despising them leads to death.
17If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD — and he will repay you!
18Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives.
19Hot-tempered people must pay the penalty. If you rescue them once, you will have to do it again.
20Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.
21You can make many plans, but the LORD ’s purpose will prevail.
22Loyalty makes a person attractive. It is better to be poor than dishonest.
23Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.
24Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.
25If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded will learn a lesson; if you correct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
26Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace.
27If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge.
28A corrupt witness makes a mockery of justice; the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
29Punishment is made for mockers, and the backs of fools are made to be beaten.
“Fortify your mind like the walls of Jericho, so that you will rely on God’s perfect peace in all of the relationships within your life.”~TB
When you’ve mastered your mind, you begin to understand how truly helpless you are without God. Friends, your foundation has to begin and end with Him. More to the point, loving God above all else is key to loving anyone at all! Experiencing God’s love informs you on how to properly love your brothers and sisters. You cannot truly love someone if you don’t know God’s love. His love is the only infinite and unyielding love there is! Mold your love after the love of Christ and watch how your relationships change. Because God freely loves and forgives, take those same principles and apply them to every relationship in your life. There will be times of mal-intent. There will be times of friendly fire. No matter the case, when God is first in your life, His Truth will reign supreme, giving you the peace and understanding of what it takes to truly love your neighbor.
If you love yourself more than you love God, it will show. But, what does that look like? You love yourself more than God when you allow the influence of external factors dictate your mindset, behavior, etc., overriding your connection to Him. Your mind left undisciplined, will lead you to believe that you are the master and commander of this show. Friends, don’t fall for the lies of your ego and the opposition. The devil knows how to use a weak-minded person and he will use you to cause destruction. Because you are weak, you will gladly participate in his foolishness, as you blindly do his bidding, causing chaos amongst God’s people. Fortunately for us, all things work for Christ and even in your weak-mindedness, God uses it to His benefit. Our strength lies in our weakness because God makes up the difference when we fall short. Remember who loved you first so that you rule your mind accordingly.
Are you giving your weak mind permission to wreak havoc in your life?
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1Unfriendly people care only about themselves; they lash out at common sense.
2Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.
3Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.
4Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
5It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.
6Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.
7The mouths of fools are their ruin; they trap themselves with their lips.
8Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
9A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things.
10The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
11The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.
12Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.
13Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
14The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
15Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
16Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!
17The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins.
18Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents.
19An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
20Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.
21The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
22The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD .
23The poor plead for mercy; the rich answer with insults.
24There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
“Keep tabs on your ego and pride because an overabundance of both can cause you to lose your blessings.”~TB
When you’ve walked with God long enough to see the many spectacular things He’s done in you and around you, if you’re not careful, you can begin to think too highly of yourself. Pride blinds us from connecting to our brothers and sisters in Christ. An unchecked ego foolishly hones in on the sins of others, without recognizing or dealing with our own. When you’re really out of sorts, you can become your own deity, thinking you know all. Friends, check your pride and make sure you’re not on team arrogance.
It takes honest humility and repentance to get off or your high horse. Fortunately for us, when we find ourselves on the wrong team, God will gently laugh and will lovingly take us back. In those moments, reflect on His mercy and His immediate acceptance of you. God doesn’t scoff, He doesn’t even say ‘I told you so’. Like a parent missing a child who has been gone for a long time, He welcomes you with open arms. Friends, mirror His ways! Don’t think too highly of yourselves and give your peers the mercy and grace that God gives us each and every day. When you keep your feelings in check and love like God loves us, everyone wins.
Are you practicing His ways or is your pride driving your behavior?
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1I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods.
2I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
3As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.
4Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD, for all of them will hear your words.
5Yes, they will sing about the LORD ’s ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great.
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me.
8The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
“To experience God’s joyful peace, let go of whatever is weighing you down.”~TB
As humans, we all fall short of the mark. There will be offense, mistreatment, accusations, and unpleasant experience that can erode relationships. Friends, let it go. As brothers and sisters in Christ, the standard has to be forgiveness over condemnation. Look at your neighbor as God looks at you. Using the Holy lens to see others is how you can overlook the small issues and remember the greater objective: We are all God’s children and He loves us the same. Even knowing how stupid we can be, He gives us the opportunity for redemption.
When you are unable to forgive others, you are unable to forgive yourself because you’ve forgotten the redemption that God has freely given you. It is impossible to truly love someone if you are unable to love yourself. As the body of Christ, the relationships you build among one another have to outweigh the hurts and offenses that occur within them. Remember the One who loved you first, so that you can practice the Godly love He gives to you daily.
Are you letting go of the small stuff so you can live in God’s grace?
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1I took my troubles to the LORD ; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
2Rescue me, O LORD, from liars and from all deceitful people.
3O deceptive tongue, what will God do to you? How will he increase your punishment?
4You will be pierced with sharp arrows and burned with glowing coals.
5How I suffer in far-off Meshech. It pains me to live in distant Kedar.
6I am tired of living among people who hate peace.
7I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!
“God is faithful in that we have until our final breath to accept salvation. Of course, none of us knows when we check out!”~TB
Each day that you shuck and jive with where you stand with God is like playing a game of musical chairs with the devil. With each passing turn, a chair is removed, statistically decreasing your odds of winning. Friends, don’t play musical chairs with your salvation. You will not win.
If the truth is not something you are interested in, avert your gaze. The choice is yours to receive your heavenly inheritance. My job is to point to the truth– the Bible. God examines the motive of your heart. So while you may fool us, you are not fooling him.
Question of the Day
Are you comfortable with leaving your destiny up to chance, or will you grab your seat before it’s too late?
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1Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth! 2Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is. 3Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power. 4Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude 5Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people! 6He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him.7For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude 8Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. 9Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling. 10You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver. 11You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs. 12Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance. 13Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you— 14yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble. 15That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you— the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma, and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude 16Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. 17For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. 18If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. 20Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
“Parting of ways from negative people to pursue your own life is a sign of maturity to follow God’s Will, Ways, and Might.”~Jon Barnes
Only you can make the choices that stand for something positive in your life. So be bold to look, learn, grow, and work for God to do those things that are right.Taking a stand is an isolated choice of daily decision connected together for a lifetime. In all that you do, understand God’s clues, because you’ll have yours and I’ll have mine.
Search for the missing puzzles of love, joy, liberty, and the freedom to choose from the options you are given. God’s Ways are for you to give and share; never to lose. The Good in life will seek you out, so always find yourself doing good that finds you.Wonderful things will continue to flow your way, as this fact should always be understood and expected.
After you have put in an amount of quality work into following your heart and dreams,
there comes a point in life and time that you’ll understand what it all means.The clues you get from taking a stand for God becomes more clear each and every day.Before long you realize that this is who you are and you will not quite on God Today!
Did you know that Today is every day with God or did you part ways to sing and walk with someone else?
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1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
“Taking your family on a trip to see, remember, and study stories of the Bible is a wonderful idea, creating lifelong memories in faith-building.”~Jon Barnes
Most people know very little about Biblical content and could care less about God and His Commandments.Everything else is important, but God.The hypocrisy that is displayed is blinding, creating death traps, roadblocks, and obstacles of doubt in the minds of the innocent.However, it is each person’s responsibility to study and learn about God for themselves.
Few people will take pride and joy in learning about who God is with a daily approach to reading and studying.Making God a personal priority and anchor in your life takes character, guts, and love.Few people will stop blaming their families, ministers, friends, and enemies about their personal responsibilities of neglect towards faith, love, and hope in God. Money rules in the hearts of many.
After you take your last breath, few people will take that trip with God through the Pearly Gates of Heaven, because their actions were consistently opposite of the teachings of Jesus Christ.Many will fail and arrive in Hell by choice because they challenged God authority, just like satan.
Are you acting just like satan, trying to take over God’s plan and throne to replace them with your own?
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4 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “If someone ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? But who can keep from speaking? 3 Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands. 4 Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. 5 But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged; it strikes you, and you are dismayed. 6 Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?
7 “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? 8 As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. 9 At the breath of God they perish; at the blast of his anger they are no more. 10 The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken. 11 The lion perishes for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
12 “A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it. 13 Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on people, 14 fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake. 15 A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end. 16 It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice: 17 ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker? 18 If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error, 19 how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth! 20 Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever. 21 Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?’
“Many of us are shamed into doing the right things because we see that others are doing such a great job for God and it is good that I should, stepped up my game, because of what I learned from God, my family, friends, and enemies.” ~ Jon Barnes
It is good to improve and change from your shameful ways, after seeing how wonderfully God has blessed you and others.This is called positive peer pleasure, which is self-inflicted, positive pressure that helps motivate all of us to improve in working for God. Rejoice with those who inspire you and continue in this manner to increase your passion and love for Your Creator, Father God.
Continue in your well doing, sacrifice, and focus upon God so that each day is fresh, new, and more wonderful than the last in all circumstances.I can say that I’m having the time of my life in every second God gives me!Praise God with all that you are and have so that you can be rich in the Kingdom.For me, this type of work is done in the middle of the night, when only God is watching and the overflow follows by day.
Do not copy your family’s history of alcohol, drug, sex, greed, hypocrisy, and other abusive lifestyle ways!But copy God’s Laws, Commandments, and Wonderful ways of living a clean, honest life as a habit.Repent and enjoy the fruits of the Spirit in obedience and not the fruits of shamefulness.
Are you a Hypocrite like many of God’s Children from the past and the future?
Darius Approves the Rebuilding
6 So King Darius issued orders that a search be made in the Babylonian archives, which were stored in the treasury.2 But it was at the fortress at Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found. This is what it said:
3 “In the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, a decree was sent out concerning the Temple of God at Jerusalem.
“Let the Temple be rebuilt on the site where Jews used to offer their sacrifices, using the original foundations. Its height will be ninety feet, and its width will be ninety feet.[a]4 Every three layers of specially prepared stones will be topped by a layer of timber. All expenses will be paid by the royal treasury.5 Furthermore, the gold and silver cups, which were taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, must be returned to Jerusalem and put back where they belong. Let them be taken back to the Temple of God.”
6 So King Darius sent this message:
“Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province west of the Euphrates River,[b]and Shethar-bozenai, and your colleagues and other officials west of the Euphrates River—stay away from there!7 Do not disturb the construction of the Temple of God. Let it be rebuilt on its original site, and do not hinder the governor of Judah and the elders of the Jews in their work.
8 “Moreover, I hereby decree that you are to help these elders of the Jews as they rebuild this Temple of God. You must pay the full construction costs, without delay, from my taxes collected in the province west of the Euphrates River so that the work will not be interrupted.
9 “Give the priests in Jerusalem whatever is needed in the way of young bulls, rams, and male lambs for the burnt offerings presented to the God of heaven. And without fail, provide them with as much wheat, salt, wine, and olive oil as they need each day.10 Then they will be able to offer acceptable sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the welfare of the king and his sons.
11 “Those who violate this decree in any way will have a beam pulled from their house. Then they will be lifted up and impaled on it, and their house will be reduced to a pile of rubble.[c]12 May the God who has chosen the city of Jerusalem as the place to honor his name destroy any king or nation that violates this command and destroys this Temple.
“I, Darius, have issued this decree. Let it be obeyed with all diligence.”
The Temple’s Dedication
13 Tattenai, governor of the province west of the Euphrates River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues complied at once with the command of King Darius.14 So the Jewish elders continued their work, and they were greatly encouraged by the preaching of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. The Temple was finally finished, as had been commanded by the God of Israel and decreed by Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, the kings of Persia.15 The Temple was completed on March 12,[d] during the sixth year of King Darius’s reign.
16 The Temple of God was then dedicated with great joy by the people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the people who had returned from exile.17 During the dedication ceremony for the Temple of God, 100 young bulls, 200 rams, and 400 male lambs were sacrificed. And 12 male goats were presented as a sin offering for the twelve tribes of Israel.18 Then the priests and Levites were divided into their various divisions to serve at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as prescribed in the Book of Moses.
Celebration of Passover
19 On April 21[e] the returned exiles celebrated Passover.20 The priests and Levites had purified themselves and were ceremonially clean. So they slaughtered the Passover lamb for all the returned exiles, for their fellow priests, and for themselves.21 The Passover meal was eaten by the people of Israel who had returned from exile and by the others in the land who had turned from their corrupt practices to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.22 Then they celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. There was great joy throughout the land because the Lord had caused the king of Assyria[f] to be favorable to them, so that he helped them to rebuild the Temple of God, the God of Israel.
“We are all famous for what we do, be it for good or for evil, since God can see all of our thoughts and actions.” ~ Jon Barnes
You can’t hide your thoughts and actions because eventually you will display and do what is in your heart. God can see your heart and your pride. Since your heart and mind and the control systems of your life, people need to pray and ask God for guidance with life, humility, personal, and family development.
Pretending to work, help, love, give, and obey God’ s commandments is not how you honor God. Why would you want to be famous for acting like the devil? Making choices to please God is the wisest steps to take in life’s many decisions and personal steps of actions. The truth about you is known and will always shine through the mask of deception.
Your daily walk, work, actions, and love will always paint the correct picture of what you look and sound like to God. We all will see this picture easily because what we do and say will be the evidence of how God will judge us on that famous DAY!
Why do you believe and live out the lies of the wicked and ignore pursuing the truth in God’s loving instructions?
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Manasseh Rules in Judah
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years.2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.3 He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.
4 He built pagan altars in the Temple of the Lord, the place where the Lord had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.”5 He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the Lord’s Temple.6 Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire[a] in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing his anger.
7 Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel.8 If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.”9 But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the Lord had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings.11 So the Lord sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.12 But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.13 And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!
14 After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah.15 Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the Lord’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city.16 Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord, the God of Israel.17 However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the Lord their God.
18 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel.19 Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in The Record of the Seers.[b] It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented.20 When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king.
Amon Rules in Judah
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years.22 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made.23 But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the Lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24 Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace.25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.