Around the Word smallSo one of my daughters called me the other day to tell me that there was a recall on our Honda Civic. Something about pieces of shrapnel flying indiscriminately when the airbag was activated. I thought, “Hmm… Not good.” I checked the website and thankfully the recall didn’t involve the year and model of our car, but just the thought of a recall was enough to scare me.

Recalls are never good. Companies use it only as a last resort. They can be very costly but the cost of dealing with injuries caused by defective parts can be astronomically bigger. Recalls are essentially a drastic measure to deal with a persistent problem, but a successful recall can also breath new life into a company. It gives them a chance to start anew, to build on a better foundation, to regain trust.

At times, God also resorts to recalls. Divine recalls are more prevalent in the Bible than we think. Samson had one. Peter too, even Paul. Manasseh, the king whose life we will look at this Sunday, experienced a major recall. He was the son of Hezekiah, a godly king who led a major religious reform in the southern kingdom of Judah. But after he died, his son took over. He was young and inexperienced and soon enough he had reversed all the major gains that Judah experienced under Hezekiah.

The Scriptures don’t hide the detestable nature of Manasseh’s acts: “He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.” (2 Chronicles 33:3).

Manasseh’s evil kept multiplying to a point that God had to issue a major recall in the form of a most humiliating act — he was bound and dragged to Babylon as a slave to the king of Assyria. In a foreign country God started the remake of Manasseh. Babylon was the work shop God used to fix his bad parts and replace them with new ones. And it worked! Manasseh humbled himself and prayed a prayer of repentance to God. And amazingly, after becoming famous for his unspeakable acts of disobedience, Manasseh became even more famous through one solitary act of obedience. Again, the text tells us that, “in his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.” (2 Chronicles 33:12).

The lesson for us today is that we don’t have to wait for a major tsunami to hit before we listen to God. We must be walking with God in obedience daily, through communion with Christ and saturation in His Word. We don’t have to wait for a major recall. If we humble ourselves before God we don’t have to be humiliated before men. Intense, personal knowledge of God happens often through the crucibles of life. Manasseh went from knowing the “God of his ancestors” to personally knowing that “The Lord is God.” (2 Chronicles 33:13).

In the end, though, if it takes a recall for us to reignite our hearts for God, let there be one, and let it start with me.

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade
Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA