Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Key Verse Thought: Read the Key Verse. Have you ever run in a race? How well did you run? What helped you to run your best? (i.e.: keep the goal in sight, not look to the left or the right, make sure there are no obstacles in your path, be healthy by eating good foods as opposed to junk food, be sure and be hydrated by drinking enough water, etc.) There are many things to consider if you want to run a race well. This verse is talking about a different kind of race – living a Christian life that is pleasing to God. Can you think of any things that cause you not to live a life pleasing to God? (i.e.: choosing to lie, choosing to disobey authorities, choosing the wrong friends, not reading your Bible, not attending church, etc.) In this lesson, we will look at a king who made many bad choices – primarily to disobey God’s commands (the truths in God’s Word).
Emphasis: Christians are not to let anything hinder us from obeying God and living a life pleasing to Him. We are to learn to lay aside any sin that does not allow us to “run the race well” (live a life pleasing to God).
Lesson Summary: In this lesson, we will continue in our study of the kings of Judah. If you remember, we ended with King Hezekiah, the thirteenth king of Judah, but only the seventh good king. Especially remember that he was the best king who ruled over Judah. “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did” (2 Kings 18:3). Because he obeyed God’s commands, God blessed him and caused him to prosper. We also looked at two prophets who spoke to God’s people during this timeframe: Isaiah and Micah. Both of them spoke God’s Words during the reign of King Hezekiah, and there were many great reformations during his reign, leading the people back to God.
Remember that King Hezekiah was sick unto death. When he prayed, God extended his life by fifteen years. During those fifteen years, a son was born to him. His name was Manasseh. He was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for fifty-five years. Read what kind of a king he was. “And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD …” (2 Kings 21:2). We will learn just how bad of a king he became. Manasseh was a very wicked king, undoing all of the good that his father, King Hezekiah, had implemented. He became king when he was twelve years old and reigned for fifty-five years. King Manasseh forsook the commandments of the Lord and served idols instead. Not only that, but he sacrificed his sons to the false god, Molech. He made the people of Judah to do more wickedness than the heathen that God had cast out and destroyed before them. During his wicked reign, God allowed him to be taken bound as a prisoner into Babylon. While Manasseh was there, he sought God, humbled himself, and prayed. God heard his prayer. God allowed Manasseh to return home as king. Once home, Manasseh revealed that he truly knew God by the many reformations he made. When he died, his son, Amon, became king.
If you are doing these lessons with younger children, the following is a craft idea to go along with this lesson: