Children have a way of grabbing our attention whether from their cuteness, their loudness, or the more ominous one, their quietness. Every parent knows that moment when they realize the kids are too quiet because they are up to no good!
I remember the time all was quiet in the house that is until Rachel tore up the steps screaming “Mmmmoooommmmm!” Aaron was nowhere to be seen. After a search, we found him behind a door in the toy room. For some reason he wanted to lay low; perhaps it was because he found my wet paintbrush dripping orange and decided to paint the bathroom wall, cabinet, and DOG! Boy, did he get my full attention that day!
When God means to have our attention, he gets it. Many times in the Bible, God used miracles or phenomenon to get the attention of his people. Sometimes he chose other ways.
After Hezekiah died, his son Manasseh took the throne. Instead of walking in the shoes of his father, the new king went full force into pagan worship even to the point of sacrificing his sons to his gods.
“The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.” 2 Chronicles 33:10
God then took more drastic measures and Manasseh became a captive of the king of Assyria. With a hook in his nose and bronze shackles binding him, the king was carried off to Babylon. In such extreme conditions Manasseh humbled himself before God. He prayed and God returned him to his throne.
“Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13
Manasseh then followed God and tried to help his people return as well. He was a man completely changed because God got his attention.
While people don’t sacrifice their children on literal altars today, many sacrifice their families for their pursuit of success, money, and power. Many turn a deaf ear to God. What it will take to grab their attention?
What it will take to get our attention? Are our eyes on God? Are our ears open so all he has to do is whisper our name? Or are we so focused on our lives and getting our way that we need a hook in the nose to turn us aside?
Lord, thank you for Manasseh and the confirmation that you can change even the most hardened and evil heart. I pray for loved ones who have set their attention elsewhere. I pray my ears be open and my eyes set on you as my attention rests on you. Hear my prayers, O Lord Almighty. Amen