Your actions do affect others, and sometimes for years down the road. September 2014 Victorious Christian Living Newsletter
This is a long article that is about the length of the regular newsletter. I felt the Holy Spirit’s leading to use it, so I decided to forgo everything else and just give you the article. We all need to be reminded that someone is watching us closely to see how we handle the problems and pressures that arise from everyday life.
You never know when your own faith acted out daily will have a dramatic effect on someone you didn’t even know was watching. You can either be a help or hindrance to the faith of another as they watch what you do.
There is a lot of Scripture in this post, but please don’t skip over reading it.
What you do can directly affect others around you. When you only live half-heartedly for God, the next generations can be affected in a horrible way.
I know this is not always the case, but there is a much better chance of your children not living for God if they see you worship Him on Sunday but don’t make Him an integral part of your life for the rest of the week.
2 Chronicles 32: 1 Sennacherib king of Assyria came and attacked Judah. He put the fortified cities under siege, determined to take them.
2 Chronicles 32:20-31(MSG)
20-21 King Hezekiah, joined by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, responded by praying, calling up to heaven. God answered by sending an angel who wiped out everyone in the Assyrian camp, both warriors and officers. Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace, tail between his legs. When he went into the temple of his god, his own sons killed him.
22-23 God saved Hezekiah and the citizens of Jerusalem from Sennacherib king of Assyria and everyone else. And he continued to take good care of them. People streamed into Jerusalem bringing offerings for the worship of God and expensive presents to Hezekiah king of Judah. All the surrounding nations were impressed—Hezekiah’s stock soared.
24 Some time later Hezekiah became deathly sick. He prayed to God and was given a reassuring sign.
25-26 But the sign, instead of making Hezekiah grateful, made him arrogant. This made God angry, and his anger spilled over on Judah and Jerusalem. But then Hezekiah, and Jerusalem with him, repented of his arrogance, and God withdrew his anger while Hezekiah lived.
27-31 Hezekiah ended up very wealthy and much honored. He built treasuries for all his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and valuables, barns for the grain, new wine, and olive oil, stalls for his various breeds of cattle, and pens for his flocks. He founded royal cities for himself and built up huge stocks of sheep and cattle. God saw to it that he was extravagantly rich. Hezekiah was also responsible for diverting the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and rerouting the water to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did. But when the rulers of Babylon sent emissaries to find out about the sign from God that had taken place earlier, God left him on his own to see what he would do; he wanted to test his heart.
So God wanted to test Hezekiah to see what he was made of. Would he tell the people of Babylon how the One True God had blessed his reign so magnificently, or would he take the credit for himself as if he had been in control and made all these great things happen?
I think he failed miserably, at least where his son was concerned.
Hezekiah definitely believed in God and turned to him when trouble was near. Even though he had a deep root of pride in his heart, God still blessed him and delivered him from the enemy when they tried to attack.
He loved the riches and power that his position had given him and his pride seemed to get further and further out of control.
In the first 12 years of his life, Manasseh saw a good deal about the character of his father Hezekiah. He saw that he talked one way and actually lived another.
As a young child he must have been affected by his father’s actions because of what he did when he later became king. The Bible says he did things much worse “than even the pagan nations God had destroyed earlier.”
I’m sure that because he became king at such a young age, he had plenty of advisers to guide him in making decisions. But Hezekiah’s pride and rebellion seems to have affected the advisers also in helping to lead him in the wrong direction.
Chapter 33 sums up Manasseh’s life for his first several years as king:
33 1-6 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king. He ruled for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. In God’s opinion he was a bad king—an evil king. He reintroduced all the moral rot and spiritual corruption that had been scoured from the country when God dispossessed the pagan nations in favor of the children of Israel. He rebuilt the sex-and-religion shrines that his father Hezekiah had torn down, he built altars and phallic images for the sex god Baal and the sex goddess Asherah and worshiped the cosmic powers, taking orders from the constellations. He built shrines to the cosmic powers and placed them in both courtyards of The Temple of God, the very Jerusalem Temple dedicated exclusively by God’s decree to God’s Name (“in Jerusalem I place my Name”). He burned his own sons in a sacrificial rite in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He practiced witchcraft and fortunetelling. He held séances and consulted spirits from the underworld. Much evil—in God’s view a career in evil. And God was angry.
7-8 As a last straw he placed a carved image of the sex goddess Asherah that he had commissioned in The Temple of God, a flagrant and provocative violation of God’s well-known command to both David and Solomon, “In this Temple and in this city Jerusalem, my choice out of all the tribes of Israel, I place my Name—exclusively and forever.” He had promised, “Never again will I let my people Israel wander off from this land I’ve given to their ancestors. But on this condition, that they keep everything I’ve commanded in the instructions my servant Moses passed on to them.”
9-10 But Manasseh led Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem off the beaten path into practices of evil exceeding even the evil of the pagan nations that God had earlier destroyed. When God spoke to Manasseh and his people about this, they ignored him.
Manasseh finally saw that judgment was inevitable and did what his father had done – turned to God for help. Because of God’s amazing grace, he listened and intervened. After that, he did turn to God and lived a different life, but the people didn’t take him seriously. His character as a leader had been compromised.
14-17 After that Manasseh rebuilt the outside defensive wall of the City of David to the west of the Gihon spring in the valley. It went from the Fish Gate and around the hill of Ophel. He also increased its height. He tightened up the defense system by posting army captains in all the fortress cities of Judah. He also did a good spring cleaning on The Temple, carting out the pagan idols and the goddess statue. He took all the altars he had set up on The Temple hill and throughout Jerusalem and dumped them outside the city. He put the Altar of God back in working order and restored worship, sacrificing Peace-Offerings and Thank-Offerings. He issued orders to the people: “You shall serve and worship God, the God of Israel.” But the people didn’t take him seriously—they used the name “God” but kept on going to the old pagan neighborhood shrines and doing the same old things.
Manasseh’s son Amon carried on his earlier heathen traditions.
21-23 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king. He was king for two years in Jerusalem. In God’s opinion he lived an evil life, just like his father Manasseh, but he never did repent to God as Manasseh repented. He just kept at it, going from one thing to another.
24-25 In the end Amon’s servants revolted and assassinated him—killed the king right in his own palace. The citizens in their turn then killed the king’s assassins. The citizens then crowned Josiah, Amon’s son, as king.
King Josiah, son of Amon
Somehow he turned away from the evil and corruptness of his father and was responsible for turning Judah back to God. Josiah completely got rid of all false idols in the land did his part to turn the people back to God, but now it was the beginning of the end for Judah as a nation. They had tipped the scales too far.
The Bible says that God’s anger still burned against them because of what Manasseh had done, and He would not avert judgment against them.
There were only a few kings left now that would ever rule Judah as a nation.
King Jehoahaz, son of Josiah
started to bring idolatry back and was only king for 3 months before he was captured by Pharaoh Neco and died in captivity
Though there were 3 more people who held the title of King, they were just puppet kings who were totally under the rule of Babylon. Judah was no more a proud and independent nation with God to fight her battles and keep her safe from the enemies around her.
So Manasseh is named in several different places in the Bible as the one person who tipped the scales for the downfall of Judah. But what would have happened if his father Hezekiah had lived a godly life before him on a daily basis? Manasseh’s actions tipped the scales for Judah’s downfall, but Hezekiah’s hypocrisy might have been the weight that started the shift.
YOUR ACTIONS DO AFFECT OTHERS AND SOMETIMES FOR YEARS DOWN THE ROAD!