King Manasseh is a conundrum. He was the most evil king Judah ever had and yet he was the longest reigning king. (cf. 2 Chronicles 33) In the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles every king’s life is summed up either by, “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” or “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” No matter what the king’s military gains, political accomplishments, feats of bravery or economic successes, in the end it boiled down to this one thing.
We love superheroes. When I was 7 years-old I just about gave my mother a heart-attack by dressing up as Batman and climbing onto a high, narrow wall and casually strolling along it. Thankfully, she managed to cajole me down. We especially like it when superheroes are “normal” first, then something odd happens and they discover that they have superhuman strengths and abilities. I think we like these “superhero” movies and TV series because God has placed in all our hearts a desire for a better body. It seems we all have a built-in dissatisfaction with our present bodies.
Where in the Bible do we find the first promise of the gospel?
Would you believe that it’s in the third chapter of the Bible’s first book, Genesis 3.
Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that God created the universe and everything in it. God created human beings to live in his good world under his authority and rule. However in Genesis 3, Satan taking on the form of a snake, tempts Eve to doubt and disobey God. Eve eats of the fruit God had said not to and gives to Adam who was with her.
Eating some fruit may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Adam and Eve want to decide for themselves what’s ultimately right and wrong; they want to be “god” unto themselves.
Genesis 3 is the “de-throning” of God by humans and replacing him with ourselves (as if that were possible!)
Recently I watched the move, “The Life of Pi”. I immensely enjoyed it and found it very thought-provoking. It says a lot about what people think about religion today. In the movie there is a shipwreck and a boy survives in a life raft accompanied by a tiger named Richard Parker. By the end of the movie there are two different stories, two versions of the truth, about how the boy named Pi survived. The older Pi, recounting the events, asks the interested journalist: “Which story do you prefer?” The journalist replies, “The story with the animals”. And the older Pi says, “And so it goes with God.”
In other words, you choose which story about God you prefer. Do you prefer the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita or the latest book on spirituality at Exclusive books? The ending is the same, you simply need to choose the story.