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Tag Archives: Manasseh

What are You Avoiding?

Samaria is bordered by Galilee to the north and Judea to the south. The first century historian Josephus set the Mediterranean Sea as Samaria’s boundary to the west, and the Jordan River as its limit to the east. This defined region is consistent with the biblical allotments of the tribe of Ephraim and the western half of Manasseh in the Old Testament. The Jews avoided Samaria because they had become a mixed race with Gentiles and centered their worship at Mount Gerizim rather than Jerusalem. 

He left Judea and returned to Galilee. It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria, John 4:3-4.

While Jesus’ disciples walked around Samaria, Jesus felt it was necessary to go straight through. The remainder of John 4 reveals Jesus’ divine appointment. Using Jacob’s well as a meeting point, it was a matter of time before the locals traveling to retrieve water would arrive. This sets the stage for a conversation with a woman who struggled with commitment. After a series of failed marriages, Jesus changes the subject from water to spiritual matters. In a matter of moments, a spiritual hunger is conceived within this woman’s heart. A spark that would soon transform her life.

And in doing so, He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (about noon), John 4:5-6.

Whenever you avoid someone or something, you miss out on the opportunity to alter another person’s life. If you are led by fear to walk away from conflict, you’re missing out on a potential blessing from God. Meanwhile, if you’re running away from God’s calling like one Old Testament prophet, Jonah 1:2-4, you’ll make things harder on yourself. Instead of wasting months, years or decades of your life walking in the wilderness, consider it a pure joy when you’re forced to endure, face and overcome trials and tribulations in your life, James 1:2-4.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Waste the Waning Years of Life

If you want to pace yourself throughout the marathon called life, Hebrews 12:1, taking a break from time to time is essential. Whether this involves getting away for a few days, going on a retreat, or taking a vacation, bodies need to be rejuvenated. When human beings neglect the need to be recharged and refreshed, burnout, emotional breakdowns and exhaustion is likely in your future. Instead of making the most of your waning years, the tired tend to run out the clock.

Isaiah said, What have they seen in your house? Hezekiah answered, They have seen all that is in my house. There is no treasure of mine that I have not shown them. 16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord! 17 Behold, the time is coming when all that is in your house, and that which your forefathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord, 2 Kings 20:15-17.

In the passage above, King Hezekiah was just miraculously healed. After crying out to God in prayer, the Lord gave this king an additional 15 years on earth. Instead of devoting the remaining years of his live to serving God, selfish desires consumed Hezekiah’s soul. Following a visit from the King of Babylon, Hezekiah quickly forgot all that the Lord had done for him. Like a modern day politician who becomes corrupted by power, Hezekiah wastes the waning years of his life.

And some of your sons who shall be born to you shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon’s king. 19 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, The word of the Lord you have spoken is good. For he thought, Is it not good, if [all this evil is meant for the future and] peace and security shall be in my days? – 2 Kings 20:18-19.

Looking back in time, it would have been better if Hezekiah’s illness ended his life. Due to a series of poor choices, Hezekiah’s actions affected his family, faith, and the nation of Judah. Moses introduced the concept of the sins of the father in Exodus 20:5. While 2 Kings doesn’t go into detail of Hezekiah’s transgressions as a father, one of his own sons appears to have been greatly influenced. Subsequently, Manasseh goes on to become one of the most ungodly kings in the Old Testament. This was all set up because a healed king exchanged eternal treasures for temporary pleasures. Seize the day while you still have time.

by Jay Mankus

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