Daily Bible Reading Reflections

“Paying” Attention

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Chronicles 33 and Colossians 3.

2 Chronicles 33 describes the rollercoaster reign of Manasseh, king of Judah. Along the way to rock bottom, the chronicler provides this sad summary:

Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel. (2 Chron 33:9)

Notice what we’re told in the next verse:

“The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.”

Attention, like money or time, is a finite resource–we only have so much to give. When we “pay” attention, we choose to give of our focus. We sacrifice other things or opportunities in order to concentrate. We watch. We listen. We take notice. On the other hand, when we “pay no attention,” we’re acting as if we aren’t aware or as if the seeker isn’t worthy of our sacrifice.

In 2 Chronicles 33, the LORD was asking for Manasseh’s attention, and for good reason.

  • The pivot of repentance begins with the paying of attention
  • Setting my mind on things above demands the paying of attention
  • The “golden rule” is practiced only by those who are paying attention
  • Seeking first the kingdom of God won’t happen if I’m not paying attention
  • I’ll never deny myself without a healthy investment of my attention

I live in a crazy-noisy world, which means now is a good time to reflect. When am I going to take a little bit of the day my Creator has provided and “pay” him what he deserves? Spending time with an open Bible will involve a little bit of sacrifice. Prayer might involve turning off a screen. Assembling this Lord’s day with my brothers and sisters in Christ will take some effort. But what difference could be made in my life–and the lives of others–if I “paid” my God the attention he deserves?

“Look at the birds of the air.” “Consider the lilies of the field.” The Creator has been mindful of us. As we see the work of his hands in every direction–the sun, moon, and stars that he has set in place–are we paying attention?