Learning to Repent Quickly (2 Kings 24:3)

“Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done,”
-2 Kings 24:3

This verse is describing the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians. And what’s really interesting about this verse is how God is showing us in His word that ultimately this came about as a result of their sin against him. That what they experienced in the Babylonian takeover and captivity and being sent into exile, was a result of sin and rebellion against God. It was a picture of the discipline of God, how all of this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord. And as I read second Kings 24, I find myself wondering, what would’ve happened if God’s people had humbly repented, even at the last minute before Babylon overtook them?

God, would help us to learn from those who’ve gone before us, to see the consequences of sin and rebellion against God and to learn to trust in him, and when we sin, to repent quickly.

And as I read this chapter and specifically this verse, I’m reminded of the seriousness, the consequences of sin, and I’m compelled, I’m driven to pray for my own life and for us, that God would help us to learn from those who’ve gone before us, to see the consequences of sin and rebellion against God and to learn to trust in him, and when we sin, to repent quickly. So, let’s pray accordingly.

“Oh God, we praise you for your commands that we know are for our good. God, we praise you for your word that we know is for our good. So we pray you’d to help us to trust your word, help us to follow your word, help us to obey your commands today. God, we pray that you would help us to walk in step with your spirit and obedience to your word today. I pray that over my life. I pray that over every single person listening right now, and God, should we disobey you in any way, in our thoughts, our desires, our words, our actions, God, not do what you are calling us to do, or do what you are calling us not to do, whatever it might look like. God, we pray for swift conviction of spirit, God, for soft hearts that confess sin quickly and turn from it. That don’t continue in it, as your people did all throughout the Old Testament, and specifically here in second Kings, chapter 24 and experienced your discipline and the consequences of their sin for it.

Jesus, even as we pray all of this, we praise you for taking the ultimate penalty that we deserve for our sin, death upon yourself. Jesus, we praise you for the gospel. We praise you for the forgiveness of our sin. God, we praise you for eternal life, for the hope and assurance of eternal life through faith in Jesus. And we pray that you would help us to live according to that gospel today. Help us to live in a manner worthy of the gospel, walking in obedience to your word and experiencing the abundant life that you have made possible for us.

God help us to live in a continual state of repentance, turning from sin and trusting in you in every facet of our lives. We pray this according to your word in second Kings chapter 24, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

David Platt serves as Lead Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical.

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