Hardened hearts

July 11, 2020

Scripture Readings

Our passage from 2 Kings today begins with Manasseh becoming king. His reign is long, and throughout, we see the evil he does in the Lord's eyes. Manasseh was one of the most idolatrous kings, opposing much of what his father, King Hezekiah, built. In one generation, it all came crashing down when Manasseh ruled. He brought old forms of idolatry back to Judah but also corrupted the worship of the Lord in the temple. The evil continues as we read how he sacrifices his son to the Canaanite god, Molech. During his 55-year reign, Judah's people were "seduced" by Manasseh and paid no attention to God's promises.

Manasseh continues to reign, and innocent blood continues to be shed. Eventually, judgement comes down on Judah, and King Manasseh is taken captive. Manasseh repents, and it is genuine. In his last days, he comes to know God intimately and serves him. However, his repentance was too late to change the nation.

Amon, Manasseh's son, reigned with evil, but thankfully his reign was short. Chapter 22 begins with Josiah coming to rule. Josiah is a noble king who does right in God's eyes, and he rebuilds the temple. When the Book of the Law is found and read, King Josiah is greatly impacted. Holy Spirit speaks over King Josiah's life. His heart is tender to God. 

In Acts, as Paul is under house arrest, he continues to preach. He preached with BOLDNESS. Unfortunately, we also read that although they may have heard, they never understood because their hearts had become calloused. Similar to those of the people we read about in 2 Kings whose hearts were hardened. Acts is a call to duty - that we should each do our part to live as children of the king and spread the Gospel message.

May our hearts remain soft so that God can do the work that only he can do. The Holy Spirit still speaks today, and transformation is possible. My prayer for each of us is that we don't allow our hearts to be hardened by this world's ways. But that we live a faithful life full of kindness and boldness. 

Jen Lockhart

A woman with a great heart for God and her children