The Reign of Manasseh
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did evil in the eyes of Yahweh according to the detestable things of the nations whom Yahweh drove out before the Israelites. 3 And he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father broke down, and he set up altars for the Baals, made Asherahs, and bowed down to the host of heaven and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh had said, “In Jerusalem my name shall be forever.” 5 And he built altars to all the host of heaven in the two courtyards of the house of Yahweh. 6 And he himself burned his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom. And he practiced sorcery and divination, and he engaged in witchcraft and dealt with mediums and spiritists. And he did much evil in the eyes of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger. 7 And he placed the carved image of the idol that he had made in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. 8 And I will never remove the foot of Israel from upon the land that I appointed to your ancestors, if only you will take care to do all that I have commanded them, all the law, the regulations, and the judgments by the hand of Moses.” 9 And Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do evil more than the nations that Yahweh destroyed before the Israelites.
10 And Yahweh spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they would not listen. 11 So Yahweh brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria upon them, and they took Manasseh captive with hooks, and they bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress he entreated Yahweh his God and greatly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors 13 and prayed to him. And God responded to him and heard his plea and let him return to Jerusalem to his kingdom. And Manasseh knew that Yahweh was God.
14 Then afterward he built an outer wall for the city of David west of the Gihon in the valley, and for the entrance into the Gate of the Fishes. And it encircled the Ophel and raised it very high. Then he placed strong commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 And he removed the foreign gods and the carved image from the house of Yahweh and all the altars which he built on the mountain of the house of Yahweh and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city. 16 And he restored the altar of Yahweh and offered sacrifices of peace offerings and thank offerings upon it. And he commanded Judah to serve Yahweh, the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless, the people offered at the high places, but only to Yahweh their God.
18 Now the remainder of the words of Manasseh and his prayer to his God and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, behold, they are in the words of the kings of Israel. 19 And his prayer, and how he responded to him, all his sin and his unfaithful acts, and the places where he built the high places and set up Asherahs and idols before he humbled himself, behold, they are written in the words of the seers.
20 And Manasseh slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in his house. And Amon his son became king in his place. 21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh as Manasseh his father had done. And Amon sacrificed to all the idols that Manasseh his father had made, and he served them. 23 And he did not humble himself before Yahweh, as Manasseh his father humbled himself, but Amon himself multiplied his guilt. 24 And his servants conspired against him and killed him in his house. 25 But the people of the land struck down all who conspired against King Amon. And the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place.
The Reign of Josiah
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and he walked in the ways of David his ancestor and did not deviate to the right or to the left. 3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to seek the God of David his ancestor. And in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherahs, the idols, and the images. 4 And he destroyed before him the altars for the Baals, and he cut down the incense stands above them. And the Asherahs, the idols, and the images he smashed. And he ground them to powder and sprinkled the dust over the burial sites of those who sacrificed to them. 5 And he burned the bones of the priests on the altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around, 7 he broke down the altars and the Asherahs and crushed the idols, grinding them to dust, and he cut down all the incense stands in all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
The Scroll of the Law Discovered
8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign after he purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the commander of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of Yahweh his God. 9 And they came to Hilkiah the high priest and gave the money that was brought for the house of God, which the Levites, the guardians of the threshold, had gathered from the hand of Manasseh, Ephraim, and from the whole remnant of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen who were appointed in the house of Yahweh, and they in turn gave it to those doing the work who were at work in the house of Yahweh, to repair and restore the house. 11 And they dispensed it to the skilled craftsmen and the builders to buy stone for hewing and timber for the seams and for binding the houses that the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12 And the men did the work faithfully. Over them as supervisors were appointed Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites from the Merarites, and Zechariah and Meshullam from the Kohathites. And other Levites, all who were skilled in instruments of song, 13 were over the porters and were directing all who worked on each task. And some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.
14 And when they brought out the money that had been brought to the house of Yahweh, Hilkiah the priest found a scroll of the law of Yahweh by the hand of Moses. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found a scroll of the law in the house of Yahweh!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and also informed the king, saying, “All that was put into the hand of your servants they are doing. 17 They have dispensed the money which was found in the house of Yahweh and have put it into the hand of the overseers and those doing the work.” 18 Then Shaphan the scribe reported to the king, “Hilkiah the priest gave to me a scroll.” Then Shaphan read from it before the king. 19 And when the king heard the words of the law, he tore his garments, 20 and the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, 21 “Go! Seek Yahweh on my behalf and on behalf of those remaining in Israel and Judah concerning the words of the scroll that was found, for the anger of Yahweh that was poured out on us is great, because our ancestors have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do all that is written in this scroll.”
22 Then Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, son of Tikvath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the garments. (Now she was living in Jerusalem in the second district.) And they spoke to her concerning this. 23 And she said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘Say to the man who sent you all to me: 24 “Thus says Yahweh: ‘Behold, I am bringing disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants—all the curses written in the scroll that were read before the king of Judah—25 because they have abandoned me and burned incense to other gods so as to provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands. And my wrath will be poured out on this place and it will not be quenched.’ 26 But to the king of Judah who sent you to seek Yahweh, thus shall you say to him: ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: As for the words which you heard, 27 because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants and you humbled yourself before me and tore your garments and wept before me, now I also have heard,’ declares Yahweh. 28 ‘Behold, I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see any of the disaster that I am bringing upon this place and upon its inhabitants.’ ” ’ ” And they brought back word to the king.
29 Then the king sent word, and he gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of Yahweh with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with the priests and the Levites—all the people from great to small—and they read in their ears all the words of the scroll of the covenant that was found in the house of Yahweh. 31 And the king stood at his position. And he made the covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh and to keep his commands and statutes and regulations with all his heart and with all his soul, to do the words of the covenant that were written on this scroll. 32 Then he obligated all who were found in Jerusalem and in Benjamin, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would do according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 33 And Josiah removed all the detestable things from the whole land that belonged to the Israelites and obligated all who were found in Israel to serve Yahweh their God. All his days they did not turn aside from following Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.
Departure of the False Teachers
18 Children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But they went out, in order that it might be shown that all of them are not of us.
20 And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because every lie is not of the truth. 22 Who is the liar except the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This person is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise which he himself promised us: eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning the ones who are trying to deceive you.
27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you do not have need that anyone teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you reside in him.
Praise to Yahweh for His Work on Behalf of Israel
105 Give thanks to Yahweh; proclaim his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to him; sing praises concerning him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
3 Boast about his holy name.
Let the heart of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.
4 Make supplication to Yahweh and his might;
seek his face continually.
5 Remember his wonders that he has done,
his signs and the judgments of his mouth,
6 O offspring of Abraham his servant,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7 He is Yahweh our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded
for a thousand generations,
9 that he made with Abraham,
and by his oath swore to Isaac.
10 He then confirmed it to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the allotment that is your inheritance.”
12 When they were few in number—
a trifle—and were sojourners in it,
13 and they wandered about among the nations,
from one kingdom to another people,
14 he allowed no one to oppress them,
and he rebuked kings on account of them,
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones,
nor harm my prophets.”
16 Then he called for a famine upon the land;
he broke every supply of bread.
17 He sent a man on ahead of them;
Joseph was sold as a slave.
18 They clamped his feet in fetters.
His neck went into irons.
19 Until the time his word came about,
the word of Yahweh tested him.
20 The king sent and he freed him;
the ruler of the peoples sent and let him loose.
21 He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to obligate his officials as he saw fit
and teach his elders wisdom.
My mom discovered scrapbooking when I was a teenager. At first, the craft seemed time consuming and burdensome; paper scraps, pictures, and double-sided tape were constantly strewn over the kitchen table. But as the books came together, I began to appreciate her new hobby. A random photo would inspire a conversation about an event I had no memory of. The way she pieced the book together showed me a timeline of my parents’ sacrifice for my siblings and me. I had a deeper respect and a renewed sense of gratitude toward them.
Psalm 105 reads like a record of God’s faithfulness to Israel—a scrapbook of His work in their lives. To help them remember, the psalmist details each memory, beginning with the great patriarchs with whom God initiated and renewed His covenant—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God didn’t choose these men because of their spotless lives. He was true to Israel, protecting, guiding, and reprimanding them when they were unfaithful and forgetful.
Although the psalmist is remembering God’s work and encouraging others to do the same, he ultimately shows that God’s act of remembering should ignite our praise. “He remembers His covenant forever, the word that he commanded for a thousand generations” (Psa 105:8).
We are wayward children who don’t deserve God’s love. We are forgetful and ungrateful, which often means we don’t praise Him like we should. Despite this, God has remained faithful—even reconciling us to Himself through the work of His Son. We shouldn’t live in ignorance of His faithfulness. Knowing that He’ll “remember his wonders that he has done” (Psa 105:5), we can live lives of thankfulness and praise.
How do you praise God for His faithfulness to you?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.