23. PARENTS WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS DO NOT ALWAYS RAISE CHILDREN WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS.
II Kings 21:1-3 - "Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them."
This is a very disturbing lesson to consider. Why did Manasseh travel the path of wickedness that he did? Was his father, Hezekiah, uninvolved in his life or was his influence for good minimal? Were there other influences at work that corrupted Manasseh? Why did he not follow his father's example? We simply don't know the answer to these questions. This lesson is troubling in that it is the worst nightmare for faithful Christian parents. I can think of nothing else that would bring me down quicker than to learn that a child of mine was living unfaithfully to God. I am striving to do everything within my power to prevent that (cf. Prov. 22:6), but only time will tell.
24. PARENTS WHO ARE WICKED DO NOT ALWAYS RAISE CHILDREN WHO ARE WICKED.
II Kings 22:1,2; 23:25 - "Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left...Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him."
Josiah was a phenomenal king, but his father Manasseh was among the worst. How can a very wicked father not corrupt his son? Presumably the answer lies in the fact that Manasseh's influence over Josiah was minimal or non-existent, though the text does not specify. This illustrates, however, that patterns of wickedness in families can be broken. Each individual has free will and will not necessarily follow the path of his or her parents, depending upon what kind of training they received (cf. Eph. 6:4) as well as how they respond to the temptations of the evil one (cf. Eph. 6:11).
25. THOSE WHO LOVE GOD'S WORD WILL LABOR TO RESTORE TRUE RELIGION.
II Kings 23:21,22 - "Then the king commanded all the people, saying, 'Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.' Such a Passover surely had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah."
Restoring true religion was not an easy task for Josiah, and neither is it today. Going against the status quo can be a struggle, but such is a necessity for those who love God's word. They will work diligently to strive to serve God faithfully, even if this means overturning man-made traditions and re-establishing divine ones, while calling people back to the pure word of God.