By Hooks and Chains

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One of the hard realities about Biblical Counseling is the realization that you cannot change someone.  If a drunk is determined to drink, all of the talk in the world isn’t going to change the fact that he is going to go to the bar tonight and get drunk.  The good news is that while I cannot change anyone, God can and he seems to use two primary means of doing so.  1) By using a faithful counselor to confront sin and encourage the process of change. 2) By using painful circumstances in life to bring a person to a sense of his need for personal change. 

2 Chronicles 33:1-13 is an intriguing account of a king named Manasseh who sinned greatly against God and who God had to chasten in order to bring about repentance.

Verses 1-9 record the atrocities that Manasseh committed:

He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations…he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers.  He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger…

Verse 10 records God’s first response to Manasseh’s rebellion, “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.”  Since Manasseh refused to listen to God’s counsel verse 11 says, “Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon.”  Finally, verse 12 records Manasseh’s repentance, “And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers…and God was moved by his entreaty…and brought him again to Jerusalem…Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.”  It took the hooks and chains of Assyria to finally bring Manasseh to his senses and realize that the Lord is God.

The fact of the matter is that God is very jealous for His people and He will use any means necessary to bring his people to the place where they will listen to Him, even if that requires using hooks and chains to get our attention.

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July 19 2010 04:00 am | Devotional

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