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Today's Devotion (Monday, Sep 26)

Day By Day By Grace - Bob Hoekstra (DBD)

Manasseh Humbling Himself before the Lord

"Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God. (2 Chronicles 33:12-13)"
Manasseh's prideful rebellion against the Lord was astoundingly extensive. He was deeply engaged in abominable practices. He "caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists" (2 Chronicles 33:6). Nevertheless, when he humbled himself before the Lord, God poured out grace upon him.

When people humble themselves before God, phenomenal spiritual recovery can be experienced. The abominations Manasseh perpetrated would seem to leave no path of restoration for him. Yet, the Scriptures abound with declarations and testimonies of God's gracious response to those who humbly cry out to Him. The Lord invites such entreaties in the midst of great need. "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me" (Psalm 50:15). Even when the trouble would be captivity that resulted from rebellion, the Lord promised to hear and to deliver. "Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive" (Jeremiah 29:12-14).

This is the gracious heart of our God toward genuine humility. No wonder that the Lord would pour out grace even upon a prideful rebel like Manasseh. "Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom." This was no casual entreaty. In the midst of his shameful agonies, he was overwhelmed with humility. He begged the Lord to rescue him. The Lord restored him. The wonderful result of this gracious work of God was the spiritual reality it planted in the heart of this former rebel. "Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God."
"O gracious Lord, I am so encouraged to see Your heart toward true humility. Too often, I have thought that I was beyond Your work of recovery in my life. Lord, there are areas in my life that need Your restoring touch. I humble myself before You now, entreating You to pour out Your grace in new measure and new power, Amen."