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Manasseh: Sowing, Reaping, and Repenting

(2 Chronicles 33:1-13)

Lesson 2 -- fourth quarter 2002
September 8, 2002

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications

Yesterday's planting

Earlier this year we wanted corn, carrots, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and other vegetables later this year. So we planted corn, carrots, beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and other vegetables. In addition to taste beauty we wanted visual beauty for our garden, so we planted various flowers. And since we hoped gophers and moles would avoid our garden, we planted tobacco. Would you be left in stunned amazement if I told you the seeds and seedlings produced exactly what they were supposed to produce? Of course not! It's just one of those things -- any harvesting done is the direct result of what is sown.

I wonder if Manasseh ever wondered why his life became so difficult and miserable. It seems to me that, by the time he found himself in captivity, he figured out that his afflicted harvest resulted from his godless sowing. So he changed seeds in his planter, and his harvest eventually changed. Too bad the lesson struck home so late in life for him. Too bad he didn't seriously analyze life agriculture while he was yet young, learning from the miserable experience of other godless kings.

But what about you? What did you plant in your life yesterday? If you don't harvest the same today, you surely will tomorrow or in some future tomorrow. My friend, it is so abjectly foolish to have sown thorns, poison ivy, and wild oats yesterday just because they weren't going to produce an undesirable harvest on that same day! Though you have no guarantee of tomorrow, you need to pick the seeds you plant as though tomorrow were guaranteed! That means you should treat the present with no more value than you do the future. People who live for the present and the fun of it minimize the value of tomorrow. How absolutely stupid! So let's remember that our life tomorrow is just as much our life as is our life today. Why shortchange myself tomorrow by planting an unwise harvest today?

If yesterday you planted selfishness, unkindness, disrespect, insubmission, lawlessness, lust, covetousness, gossip, theft, or some other evil seed, repent! Where restitution and apologies are necessary, make amends. Then plant new seed which is after righteousness. You thought Manasseh should have learned from others, so you learn from Manasseh.

By God's grace, I'll do the same.

My choices; my influence

Manasseh made bad choices which brought him a bad harvest. Alas, his choices influenced other people, causing them to err and bringing on them a bad harvest as well. I want to avoid this kind of effect from my life. If you do also, join me in taking up the Titus Challenge: "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works" (Titus 2:7). The Timothy Challenge has a similar ring to it: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers" (1 Timothy 4:12).

Have you heard God recently?

Manasseh and his people "would not hearken" when God spoke to them (2 Chronicles 33:10). How well did you hear Him in this lesson, in the sermon, in your personal devotional time, or during family Bible reading?

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