Sin and the Mercy of God

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I don’t know about you, but I have had a particularly bad week. It’s been one of those weeks where no one would know about it unless you happen to be one of the few people I shared my struggle with. You see, the problem was not so much in my actions as it was in my heart. So I looked fine on the outside, but inside I was struggling with several things and among them was a critical spirit. I’m good at that, having a critical spirit. But my struggle remains internal and I rarely do anything about it except confess it to God and ask Him to change my heart.

One day this week I sat down at lunch time to pray and read the Word. I happened to be at 2  Chronicles 33. So for no particular reason other than that is where I was in my reading, I sat down and read the chapter. This chapter is about King Manasseh who was one of the kings of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. 2  Chronicles mostly gives the history of the kings of Judah. Unlike the Northern Kingdom, Judah had some good kings mixed in with the evil ones. Manasseh was one of the evil kings. In fact he was so evil that it is said he “…misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed….” (2  Chronicles 33:9). It further says that God spoke both to Manasseh and the people but they would not listen to Him. So, He sent the Assyrian army against them and Manasseh was captured and brought to Babylon.

Here is where it gets interesting. Manasseh, being in the circumstances he was, “humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.” (2  Chronicles 33:12). He prayed to God and God was moved by his humility and his prayer and He brought him up again to Jerusalem. The Bible doesn’t go into detail how God did this; it just says that He did it. Verse 13 says that when that happened, that he knew that the LORD was God. Manasseh cleaned up his act and basically lived out the rest of his life in peace and he was buried with his fathers.

So here’s the point for this blog. I don’t know why this struck me as it did but after I read it, I was struck by how loving and merciful God was to Manasseh. Even though he led Judah to being worse than the evil nations around him, when Manasseh humbled himself before the Lord, God had mercy on him. It made me think that even during this time of feeling dry as a bone and struggling with sin, God can, and will have mercy on me, as long as I remain humble contrite before Him. And the really good news is that God will do the same for you too!!

I don’t know where you are in your walk with the Lord right now. Maybe things are going great and you can’t understand people who struggle like I do. But maybe you are in a dry and lonely place and barely hanging on. Or maybe you have just walked away from God. May I encourage you to take time to be humble before God and just confess your sins to Him. I have these “dry times” every so often where I seem to hear nothing from God and I spend my time just going through the motions. I can compare it to Moses’ 40 years in the desert surrounded with nothing much other than a bunch of sheep. Except that my time is in the heat of Texas surrounded by cows. But even in the desert Moses found a burning bush. And in that bush, was God! Read Psalm 139:7-12. It’s all about God’s relentless pursuit for us. God is always with us, if only we stay humble and contrite before Him!! May God bless your day today and your weekend.

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