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Manasseh

Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of this great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.”  2Kings 23:26

I am always struck by the bedrock determination of the judgments of God.  It is written that God is not a man that He should repent, but for some reason, that is a difficult concept for us to grasp because we have assimilated the idea that if we say we are sorry, all will be forgiven and everything will be OK.

Well, maybe it will be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean it will be OK.  I’ve heard it said before that the judgments of God are like a great stone wheel, rolling slow but sure, crushing all wickedness under it.  Simple apologies do little to stop great stone wheels.  Once judgment is set, it is set.

But ingrained into our culture are two things that are unique to the modern age:

  1. The lack of the fear of absolute rulers, and
  2. The lack of the fear of judgment.

We cannot grasp the fear that ancient peoples had for kings and emperors because democracy and the rise of the common people have eradicated their absolute power.  We can read about the chilling fear and trembling that was upon the people who stood before these great monarchs, but our minds have no reference point to be able to grasp what that must have been like.

The lack of the fear of God’s judgment is similar.  As successive generations water down the Word of God (just like it describes in the Book of Joel), we get farther away from the stark lines of the fear of God that our forefathers once possessed.  Either we are more enlightened than they were back then, or we are just plain stupid.

The judgment of God that was placed upon Judah because of Manasseh was proclaimed AFTER Manasseh repented before God and had come back to try and make things right with Him.  His efforts gained him a reprieve, but it did not stop judgment.

So it shall be with us.  America was established on the Old-Fashioned Gospel that was based on the fear of God, but it has morphed into a theologically scholastic plastic shadow of what it once was.

Where our services once thundered under the anointing and power of God, we now have animated social gatherings for Christians to listen to our pastor’s opinion of Scripture.  We call it church.

Where we once looked upon God with fear and trembling, we now talk about “awesome respect for our Daddy” as we sit in His big, comfy lap.

Where we once emphasized righteousness, we now languish in a warm, fuzzy concept of Love.

And where we once believed that judgment, once set, was sure, we now have convinced ourselves that because God loves us so much, surely He won’t do all those terrible things to us.

But the great wheel continues to turn.

After 50 million abortions, the rise of the predominance of homosexuality, the rampant saturation of lust, and the success of greed and corruption in our society, you have to ask yourself how it is that you really think God is just going to ignore everything and forget the mountains of sin that we have heaped upon ourselves. If the Lord were to halt judgment, would He not have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah?  And if He did, could we really rely upon Him to be righteous? I fear that He really is righteous, and that He means exactly what He says, and therefore great judgment is determined upon us as a fallen nation and world.

And, to me, the proof of that coming judgment is how few of us believe it.

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