Here we see the contrast between a father and a son, revival and apostasy. What a contrast! There are lessons to learn here. Take a look and share your thoughts after reading.
2 Kings 18:1-6
1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.6 He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.
2 Chronicles 33:1-6
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.”5 In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts.6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.
As I go through my study of the kings of Israel and Judah I cannot ignore the topsy-turvy dedication and devotion of these kings to the Lord. Furthermore, it’s hard to understand how these kings could not sustain revival though their family lineage.
Each portion of scripture above is six verses long. One about a father and another about his son. One leads the nation in revival the other into apostasy.
Hezekiah (the father) is attributed as one of the greatest kings of Judah. He gave his heart fully to the Lord. He radically put away evil. He led the nation into a reformation. He stood his ground to military powers. For 29 years he completely shifted a culture and brought the nation into revival and the radical blessings of the Lord!
Manasseh his son came to the throne following his fathers death and completely destroys everything his father had achieved. Unbelievable. He was one of the darkest kings in Judah.
His name literally means “causing to forget”. He forgot the Lord and the blessings that came with serving Him. He saw a move of God with his own eyes yet walked away from it. He forgot his own children by sacrificing them in the fires of the demonic. He reigned 55 years and even though towards the end of his life he found God, a good thing, it was too little too late. Even with Josiah coming on the scene years later the nation never fully recovered and fell into the hands of Babylon.
I don’t know the relationship that Hezekiah had with his son Manasseh and I never want to shift any blame one way or the other. But one thing is obvious, one generation can undo the work of another. Somehow we have to learn to string the generations together and build godly momentum that lasts.
We cannot chase revival and lose a generation. And on the contrary, we can’t grow up and live in the glory of revival and walk away from it.
YOUR TURN: I would love to get your take on this. What are your observations regarding these portions of scripture?