Yesterday we saw Manasseh the wicked King of Judah being taken into “captivity.” By a foreign power! Deported from his own Land, from the Holy Land.
Then what happened?
It is surprising!
“And when he (Manasseh) was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.” 2nd Chronicles 33:12
I wish he could have sought the Lord long ago! How many lives would that have saved. Remember, he had shed much blood in his Country. “Moreover Manasseh shed INNOCENT BLOOD very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.” 2nd Kings 21:16
But still … “And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God.”
Let’s study that noun “affliction.” Spelled “tzsrar” (Hebrew), it means “to be in a narrow place,” uncomfortably so. In an adversarial sense, too. “Tzsrar” is translated “enemy” 14 times and “besieged” 2 times in the King James Bible. Then it’s “in distress” 7 more times. Then “in pain” (pangs) 2 times.
And the verb “sought” (actually “besought” here) is “challah.” Look at these lexicon definitions for the word: “to be or become weak, be or become sick, be or become diseased, be or become grieved, be or become sorry.” Wow!
Furthermore, here are the definition the King James translators utilized for “challah:” (often called “usage” by scholars.) “sick” 34 times, “beseech” (as here) 6 times, “be weak” 4 times, “be grievous” 4 times, “be diseased” 3 times, “be wounded” 3 times , “pray” 3 times, “intreat” 3 times, “to be sorry” 1 times, “make suit” 1 time, “make supplication” 1 time, and “to travail” 1 times. And it’s only located 75 times in the whole Bible! And it’s a Piel stem verb in Hebrew, meaning he besought the Lord INTENSELY, ENERGETICALLY, WITH ALL THE SINCERITY HE POSSESSED!
Then (for today’s Lesson) Manasseh did one more thing, “humbled himself” (before God)! “And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and HUMBLED HIMSELF GREATLY before the God of his fathers.” 2nd Chronicles 33:12
This is “kana” in Hebrew, meaning “to be brought low.” In the passive voice of course, “he humbled himself.” This verb is rare in the Bible, found only 36 times in the Old Testament’s 929 chapters! I just noticed where it is once translated “to be in subjection.”
But let’s do remember what the New Testament says about humbling oneself. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10, for example.
What a change, if it’s sincere.
The most wicked King to ever sit on Judah’s Throne … seeking the Lord God and humbling himself!
That’s a turnaround.
That kind of behavior smacks of repentance!
But there’s more, a lot more to come.
A King is about to be revived!
Lord willing, another Article tomorrow morning.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell