I’ve been reading a good book called Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin. I have really enjoyed book one and am looking forward to the next books in the Chronicles of the Kings series.
Following the lives and legacies of King Hezekiah and his son Manasseh, this series takes readers through the history, drama and promises of the Old Testament. Embracing God’s law, following God’s will, and growing in faith is easier said than done for the father and son.
1. Gods and Kings
2. Song of Redemption
3. The Strength of His Hand
4. Faith of My Fathers
5. Among the Gods
I have to admit to not knowing an awful lot about this period in biblical history. But I have been digging deeply into my Bible and encyclopedia’s in an effort to make connections. Many things have touched me and spoken to me but something has been nagging at me…do you ever get those times when a thought just nags at you? When you think about it often for days or weeks? This is how it is with me at the moment. My pondering relates to the efforts of child raising and prodigal children. You may remember my previous posts about this. If not, feel free to look at the related posts at the end of this post. I’m just going to ramble here as this is where I process my thoughts. I don’t claim or pretend to have all my ‘ducks in a row’ or know what I’m talking about…I’m pondering. I know that there will be people who disagree with my train of thought…and I’m not looking to justify anything..however I can’t help but ask the question…(which I’ll get to in a minute)
I’m looking at the lives of three kings: Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh.
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God.
2 Kings 16:2
In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was ‘Miss A’ jah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.
2 Kings 18:1-3
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done.
2 Kings 21:1-3
Many times we want ‘The Formula‘ for parenting yet it would seem to that there are no guarantees with our children. Ahaz did evil in the eyes of the Lord yet his son, Hezekiah did right in God’s eyes. Then again, Hezekiah’s own son who was raised knowing and obeying God’s ways went on to be king and do evil in the eyes of the Lord? How can this be? If Hezekiah followed the formula, then how did his own son turn out to rebel against God? How did Hezekiah come to follow God’s way and do right in the Lord’s eyes yet not have a Godly father? Hmmm, I know that I was not raised as a Christian. Far from it! Yet God had my name in His book! He called me and drew me to His sovereign and gracious self. He redeemed me! Despite my upbringing. He is THAT big!
Oh I know we all want that guarantee- that if we do A,B and C then everything will turn out okay. Controlled crying, attachment parenting, bottle feeding, TV or no TV, homeschool or school, whole foods or not, dresses only or not, workbooks or natural learning…ahh what’s a parent to do? If we base our lives on a methodology then we do need to be sure that we get it all right…that all our i’s are dotted and our t’s crossed. But what if it still doesn’t work? What if we know that methodology isn’t the right way? Then, we’re in a good place, I believe! For it is then, that we can be truly dependent upon Him for His grace, His power, His strength…that He may work in our lives and in the lives of our children.
I don’t want to read things in the Scriptures that aren’t there but this seems obvious to me. This seems to be glowing like a neon sign- “not your way but lean on Him“. So, what I will take from all this is that I will still try to live my life as pleasing to the Lord…letting my love and faith be evident. I will continue to point my children to Jesus Christ and His ways. In other words, I will continue to try and ‘walk the walk’ and not just talk the talk. Then, I will relax in the knowledge that God is in charge of the results, not me. He will do the calling and the drawing, in just the right time.
How about you? Do you come from a childhood home that was spiritually weak or strong? Did your parent’s faith directly influence yours in any way?