I will be gone by the time you are given this letter. I placed it with someone I knew would give it
to you at the right time. The letter will seem to jump around, but such is the mind of an old man.
I pray though, when it is through, you will know the heart of my words.
There will be plenty to read and hear about your grandfather. Most of it will be true. I
committed horrible sins. I have done things that will probably label me for all time, ďThe Worst
EverĒ. Yet, because of our Godís incredible grace, here I am, writing a letter to the only person
in this country who looks upon me with gladness and pride. You didnít know me when I was a
young foolish tyrant, only now, as this humbled old man. But, you will have to deal with the
baggage of my legacy. And my advice, dear grandson, is to look beyond it.
I was wondering aloud today, hoping God was listening. I knew there was something I could still
do with my grace extended life. Something more, than rebuild the destroyed and tear down what
I erected. Something more.
I would never have been born if my fatherís life had not been extended. I am sure many thought
it great irony, that the great miracle God wrought in your great grandfatherís life, produced me.
None-the-less, God is God. You, my grandson, would not be in the position you will be in, if not
for Godís miracle in my life. Yes, I look at my years of imprisonment as a miracle.
My father was a great man, as history will also note. But, when his heart was tested after the
miracle, he failed. Afterwards, he tried to get me to understand how God was a heart God, how I
needed to learn from his mistake. I would never listen. I rebelled. I did things my way, and
seduced others to do the same. I couldnít look beyond it. And now, your father, my son, will
not hear me.
Grandson, you cannot war against Godís Word. I tried every other power known to man, to try
to stem the flood of Godís pronounced judgment on Judah and Jerusalem. But, I found nothing
is greater than God. I couldnít see beyond. I didnít know His heart. So he took me captive. In
chains and fetters, in a foreign land, I cried out to God. I was humbled. I prayed. Finally, I
heard His heartbeat and I knew the Lord was God. I would have been happy to die then, yet, He
chose to bring me back.
Today God showed me something more. I saw you happily playing outside my window frame.
The ruins of my sins, however, still laid beyond your laughter. And God allowed me to even see
beyond the graveyard of my errors. And again, I heard His heartbeat for His people. I saw the
promise beyond the rebuke.
My grandson, Josiah, seek God while He may be found. Only in seeking Him will you know
what to do. When I hold you close, I feel that same heartbeat God allowed me to hear. As
earnestly as I beseeched God in captivity, I pray now, that you listen to these Words as they are
read to you. Look beyond what you see and know that the Lord God has something more.
I thank God that He still had a purpose for this old manís life and I pray you find your purpose
too, something more than you see.
Your Grandfather, king Manasseh.
The sixteen year old king asked his mother if he could be alone after she read the letter. Josiah
was six years old when his grandfather died, and he still missed him. He walked to his window
frame and looked out over the troubled land. After a moment he found himself as overwhelmed
as he was the day before. Their enemies were still casting a shadow of doom and hopelessness
over his people. His people? Godís people! He repeated, ďGodís peopleĒ three times before his
frown began to disappear. He looked anew at Godís land, and saw something more.
Young Josiah left the window and dropped to his knees. Recalling a psalm his grandfather
taught him of King Davidís, he began to pray, ďAs the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants
my soul for you, O God...Ē (Psalms 42).
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