The Shepherd’s Love - Lesson 41
Hezekiah and Manasseh
From triumph to pride to decadence to restoration
2 Chronicles 29 - 33
2 Chronicles 32:7
"Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” 2 Chron. 32:7
Thank You, dear Father, for Your wonderful greatness shared with us -- Your unworthy flock. Moment by moment, we need Your life and strength, for we are weak and easily distracted from Your purpose, will and ways. Guard and restrain us from presumptuous pride. Keep us continually beholding You. For we are the sheep of Your pasture, and You are our very Life. Thank You, precious Shepherd.
1. Read 2 Chronicles 29.
A. Describe Hezekiah's life. (Study all the questions about him before you compete the answer.)
B. 1. Explain what Hezekiah is asking the Levites to do in verse 5. (You may need to look up the meaning of "consecrate" or "sanctify" in a dictionary.)
2. (Personal) Apply the exhortation in this verse to yourself. What is God asking you to do? (Review Romans 12:1-2) Is consecration or sanctification a single event or ongoing action?
C. How might we have sinned against God by having...
1. "Turned our face away from the dwelling place of God"? (verse 6) See also Psalm 27:4.
2. "put out the lamps"? (verse 7) See also Revelation 2:2-5 and Matthew 5:14-16.
3. "have not burned incense"? (verse 7) See also Revelation 5:8 and 1 Samuel 12:23.
D. In verse 11, what is God's message to the Levites? ...to you?
E. How did the Levites respond to Hezekiah's message? (Notice their attitudes) What is your response?
2. Read 2 Chronicles 30.
A. What does Hezekiah know about God? (Notice especially verses 6-9)
B. How did the people of Israel respond to the exhortation "to return to the Lord"? (verses 10-11)
C. 1. What did God accomplish in the hearts of the people of Judah?
2. (Personal) Consider the message of Proverbs 21:1 and John 6:44. To what extent do our intercessory prayers reflect faith in God who can turn a person's heart toward Himself?
D. How did God respond to the obedience of His people? (verse 20)
E. Describe in one word the attitude of the people during the celebration. Why was this so?
3. Read 2 Chronicles 31:1-10 and 20-21. A. How did the people respond to Hezekiah's request in verse 4?
B. (Personal) What do you learn from their example? (See Galatians 6:6 and 1 Timothy 5:17-18)
4. Read 2 Chronicles 32:1-23.
A. Take time to meditate on verses 7-8a. Compare these with 1 John 4:4. What is the message for us today?
B. 1. Read Isaiah 37:16-20. In what ways might Hezekiah's prayer be a model for you as you turn to God in a difficult situation? (Consider the difference between a prayer which affirms doubt versus one that affirms the truth of God's character.)
2. How did God answer Hezekiah's prayer?
5. Read 2 Chronicles 32:24-33.
A. When Hezekiah became "mortally ill," he made a request to God. What was it, and how did God answer? (see also Isaiah 38:1-8)
B. What tragic statements are made concerning Hezekiah in this passage? (Is there a warning for you here? Consider some of the consequences of Hezekiah's prayer and God's answer. See also Isaiah 39:1-8 and Psalm 106:15)
6. Read 2 Chronicles 33:1-20.
A. Manasseh was only 12 years old when his father died and he became king. Describe his reign as seen in verses 1-9.
B. How did God discipline him?
C. Describe Manasseh's appeal to God and God's response to his plea.
D. How was the change in Manasseh's heart expressed through his life?
7. A. How do you see God's glory and character through His relationship to Hezekiah and Manasseh?
B. As you look at Him, how does He strengthen your confidence in His perfect work in your life?
SUGGESTED HYMN: To God be the Glory
Next: Lesson 42: Josiah and the Final Years of the Kingdom