Learning to Pray the Hard Way

Praying Through the Bible #32 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 2 Chronicles 33:10-13

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible”. The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the new Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have done 31 messages in this series.

This is message #32 titled “The Tragedy of Having to Learn the Hard Way”

In our passage for today, we are introduced to King Manasseh of the kingdom of Judah. He was the son of King Hezekiah. As you might recall, I have preached four messages in this series on prayer based on events in the life of King Hezekiah, who was a praying man. He was also a righteous and godly king. Unfortunately, his son, Manasseh, was not. In fact, we will see that the very thing that God prevented because of the prayers of Manasseh’s father, he allowed because of the rebelliousness and disobedience of Manasseh. Manasseh and Hezekiah were very different men. And we will see today the difference in how God dealt with each of these men.

1. First, let’s look at King Manasseh as the man who would not listen. Verse 10 of our passage states that, “the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.” Why was God trying to get the attention of King Manasseh and his people? Well, Manasseh was not obeying the Lord his God. If we look at verses 3 through 9 of this passage, we will see that Manasseh had rebuilt the high places, the places of idolatry, that his father had torn down. Instead of continuing in his father’s footsteps and keeping the nation of Judah on the straight and narrow path, Manasseh deliberately turns the nation back to idolatry.

2. Now, let’s look at Manasseh as the man who had to be punished. Notice verse 11: “Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.”

Because Manasseh willingly rebelled against God, God allowed the Assyrians to conquer Jerusalem and take Manasseh captive. The Bible uses the term, “they took him among the thorns” — this means that the Assyrians, following their custom with foreign kings, ran a hook or ring through Manasseh’s lips or mouth before they took him to the Assyrian king. They treated captive kings just like they treated cattle. God punished Manasseh and the people of Judah for rebelling against Him by allowing the Assyrians to conquer them.

3. Now, let’s look at Manasseh as the man who learned his lesson. Verse 12 of our passage reads, “And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers…” Notice the phrase, “when he was in affliction.” Unfortunately, some of us are like Manasseh. We have to be afflicted, we have to be punished, we have to go through hard times before we turn to the Lord.

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