“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” —Isaiah 55:8-9
One of the dangers in insisting on our own way with God is that He may give it to us. We encounter this predicament in 2 Kings 20. King Hezekiah was a good king of Judah, but he became ill and the prophet Isaiah told him, “This is what the LORD says: put your house in order, because you are going to die....” Upon hearing this distressing news, Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and wept bitterly praying, “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in Your eyes.”
Before Isaiah left the middle court, the Word of the Lord came
people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you....I will add fifteen years to your life’” (2 Kings 20:1-6). As the Lord had promised, Hezekiah lived 15 more years. Afterwards, 2 Kings 20:21 reveals, “Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.”
If we have studied Old Testament history, we will know that Manasseh was one of the most evil kings to reign in Judah. He undid all the good that his father had done. We are told, “He did evil in the eyes of the LORD....He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole....He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshipped them. He built altars in the temple of the LORD....He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practised divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing His anger” (2 Kings 21:2-6).
Yet, the beginning of 2 Kings 21:1 tells us, “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king....” If we do the math, where Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king and Hezekiah died 15 years late, we find that Manasseh should never have been. At the time of Hezekiah’s supposed passing, he felt he was dying prematurely because he had no heir. Although God extended Hezekiah’s life and gave him an heir, Hezekiah did not realize his son would undo all the good that he did.
As we pray, may we trust in God’s goodness to prevail, surrendering our “Manasseh”—our desires—into His hands, even if we do not understand what He may be doing in our situations—let us remember that our “ideal” solution to the problem may not be God’s “ideal.”
O Sovereign God, forgive me for the times when I prayed insisting my own way. I surrender to Your goodness and Your will to be done. May You be glorified. Thank You, God.