Many have voiced their opinion that America has averted God’s judgment due to the appointment of the new Commander in Chief. Once again, it is advisable to consult the Bible to examine Israel’s history to see if there are examples of similar situations.
Judah’s King Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, ruled between 695 – 642 BC. His reign is described in 2 Kings.
“And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.” 2 Kings 21:2
It is very plain that Manasseh did Judah no favors with his leadership. He practiced abominations equal to those of the displaced heathen that God abhorred.
One specific deplorable thing he did was offer his infant son to the heathen god Molech. This specific act, among many other evil practices, was considered to be the shedding of innocent blood. God hated the sacrifice of innocent children. And remember, when Esau and Jacob were in their mother Rebecca’s womb, they were referred to as young children.
After Manasseh died his son Amon reigned in Judah for just two years. His rule is also described succinctly.
“And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done…He forsook the LORD God of his fathers… 2 Kings 21:20, 22
Amon’s own servants killed him in his own house ending his short reign.
Then Amon’s son Josiah reigned in his place for 31 years beginning his rule at the age of 8.
When Josiah was 26 years old the temple was being renovated. In the process, the Book of the Law was discovered hidden in the temple gathering dust for many years.
When the Book was read to Josiah he reacted immediately. He realized Judah had disobeyed the Law of the LORD and had stored up God’s wrath on themselves.
“Go, inquire of the LORD for me… concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” 2 Kings 22:13
Even though the Law was given 800 years earlier, it was still totally applicable. Josiah’s heart was moved to action and he began to make things right according to the Law given to Moses. God acknowledged Josiah’s repentance.
“Thus says the LORD God of Israel…‘because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place…Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace…’” 2 Kings 22:18b-20
At this point many would think judgment was averted when mercy was experienced. That may have been the case for Josiah but not for Judah and Jerusalem.
Notice the very first word in the following verses.
“Nevertheless the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him. And the LORD said, ‘I will also remove Judah from My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen…’” 2 Kings 23:26-27
Therefore, Josiah received mercy for his repentance, but the sins of his grandfather Manasseh would still be dealt with. Judah and Jerusalem would suffer similarly as had northern Israel approximately 113 years earlier when they were overtaken by Assyria.
God’s mercy to Josiah was experienced by way of an early death at the age of 38. Many would not consider the following to be an act of mercy.
“In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo…” 2 Kings 23:29
Josiah’s death was indeed an act of mercy inasmuch as King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had already been assigned to besiege Jerusalem where unspeakable suffering would begin within two years.
To properly assess America’s future, Israel’s past must be considered.
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