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Tuesday, December 20

Day 23: Hephzibah

Open item: Name sticker

Ask your children what this is used for. Talk about your children’s names and if they have a special meaning or significance. Explain that names throughout the Bible have very important meanings and, in some cases, are changed to reflect what God is doing in their lives (like Abraham).

Devotion

Manasseh was a very bad king. He was mean, and he hurt people, even his own family. He turned God’s temples into places where idols were worshiped. It’s hard to find a man as bad as Manasseh was! He was definitely the worst king Judah ever had!

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.
2 The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Hephzibah was the queen of Judah and the wife of the good the most righteous king, Hezekiah. And she was the mom to wicked King Manasseh.

Manasseh was not a good man, was he?

Hephzibah surely was very sad to watch her son choose wicked things and not honor God. She and her husband Hezekiah loved God and showed Manasseh what it meant to follow him and worship him. Every mother would want to know, “what did I do wrong?”

It’s easy to assume she felt incredibly discouraged. She probably even felt shame and embarrassment. However, in all of that, she likely found HOPE–as her name bears it for her. 

Hephzibah’s name means delight of the Lord (look back at verse 4). Isaiah, Hephzibah’s father, gave her this name, and in his book used her name as a symbol for restoring Israel.

Remember, God had made a covenant with His people. Even though all the kings had been sinful (good ones included), God would not go back on his promise–-even when there was a really bad king, like Hephzibah’s son, Manasseh.

Hephzibah surely had hope of the salvation that was to come, because she had to trust the LORD even though her son was evil and was destroying so much of what Hezekiah had done.

We do know, though, that God changed Manasseh’s heart! We don’t know if Hephzibah was alive to see this, but likely she prayed for this every day of her life, as a mother would.

God heard her prayers.

Prayer

Final Words

Manasseh was the worst king Judah ever had, but God changed his heart! Is Manasseh someone you think God would put in Jesus’ family? Definitely not! God took what was evil and used it for good, and He does that for us too. Praise the Lord! Jesus is coming!