Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 9, 2013

Bouncing Back (2 Chronicles 33)

Bouncing Back (2 Chronicles 33)

i am a bachelor. That means that I have not been trained by a woman. That means that I can play ball in the house with my dog. Because no one disciplines me the dog goes along with my misbehavior. So far we have broken two wall plaques and a clock. The ball comes back but it usually leaves marks on the wall or damage it its wake. Why do I do it In spite of the damage? Because it is the only comfort I have from not having a woman I love and respect too much to damage her house.

Manasseh is king of Judah. He becomes king as an unruly 12-year-old. There is no power withheld from him. And there is no one to tell him to stop. The result is that Manasseh outdoes all previous evil kings of Judah. In fact he outdoes the evil of the people GOD threw out of the land in order to give it to the 12 tribes of His people. It was because of the idolatry of the people already living in the Promised Land that GOD had the 12 tribes of Israel take it over. Yet Manasseh outdid the idol worship of those people that were thrown out and added more sin by doing it in the very House of God As well as all over the country. He even sacrificed his own children to foreign idols. You couldn’t do worse than Manasseh did. And the people he led followed him back into the idolatry they had left for his father.

GOD brought judgment on Manasseh and Judah. He had the commanders under the king of Assyria, who was already serving Babylon, capture Manasseh. They dragged him away as a slave to Babylon.

That was Manasseh’s “wake up call.” He turned, brokenhearted, to GOD. He repented. His prayers were so deep and so sincere that GOD had mercy on him and gave him a second chance.

GOD returned Manasseh to be king of Judah. And Manasseh undid as much of the damage as he could. He rebuilt what he had damaged. He removed all of the idols he had set up. He put everything right that he had done wrong. In other words, Manasseh realized that he should not play ball in the house and he fixed what he could.

Like Manasseh I could undo most of the damage that I had done playing ball in the house. But one of those plaques is irreplaceable, a one-of-a-kind handmade cross given to me by friends. It shattered beyond repair.

Manasseh cleaned up what he could. But he had a son, Amon. And Amon did all of the evil he had seen from his father and added his own to it. And he never turned back. He was so evil his own servants killed him and were themselves killed for it.

We can’t sin worse than Manasseh. That doesn’t mean we are better than him, because we would sin as much or worse if we thought we could get away with it as he thought he could. Paul the Apostle said he was the worst of all sinners, but he hadn’t met us yet. It’s a title our sinful hearts try to earn every day.

But we also have the same opportunity to come to our senses and turn around. As only GOD could reboot Manasseh’s life, only Jesus can bring us back and give us a new start. If we truly acknowledge our need for rescue, Jesus our Rescuer will give us life. All we need do is admit the need sincerely and give ourselves to Him. His irreplaceable Life was given for us on the Cross. Nothing can outdo or undo His sacrifice. And in its place He gives us His Resurrection Life.

People often say that those of us who believe once we are forgiven we cannot be unforgiven are crazy. They say it is an excuse to sin. But that is only because they don’t realize we know some damage cannot be undone. When we are truly born-again we know how damaging playing ball with sin in the house of our soul can be. It will always come back leaving damage in its wake. Only love of JESUS has us prefer to obey Him rather than causing more hurt to Him and damage to ourselves and others.

I am still waiting and praying for that woman I will love more than my freedom to damage my house. But spiritually we can each turn today to the housemate of our soul to keep us from sin. May our love for Christ have us come to Him completely and serve Him joyfully as we bounce back under His damage control.


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