Manasseh was one of the Bible’s worst persons: he was a king, born into luxury and position.
Loved of his father, Hezekiah, who was a Godly king.
As a matter of fact, years before, when Hezekiah was going to die; he prayed that he might live. That God would extend his life.
He had no son, and wanted to have an heir, before he died.
Manasseh was the result.
From the first, he departed from the ways of his father. And forsook the worship of God, for idols.
The pleasures of this life was all he was interested in;……that, and leading others into the same sin.
2 Kings 21:1-2 “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign,…
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.”
2 Kings 21:6 “And he made his sons pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.”
He destroyed those who spoke out against him, and became worse and worse in “having his own way”.
2 Chronicles 33:10. “And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.”
How often it is, that sin leads to more sin.
We can begin by getting angry, and the next minute, we can be thinking about getting even.
We can begin by speeding, and end up endangering others.
Sin is addictive; that is why we need our Savior, Jesus Christ, to save us from it. (Matthew 1:21)
The blood that Manasseh shed, and the idols he worshipped, brought the curse of God onto the nation of Judah.
(Tradition says that he killed Isaiah for preaching against him, and his sin)
2 Kings 21:16 “Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end unto another; besides his sin where with he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.”
2 Kings 21:11-12 “Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:
Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.”
And this is amazing grace….Manasseh repented.
2 Chronicles 33:11-12 “Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,”
To “humble ourselves” in the Hebrew is to “bend the knee” or submit to God.
This is what Manasseh had never done. He had not submitted to anyone or anything.
No matter what image he had brought and set up; there was always something else to seek after.
For none of them satisfied Manasseh’s real desire.
He had used power to do what he wanted, when he wanted, as he wanted; no matter who got hurt in the process. (Remember he sacrificed his own children.)
God, the true God,…..was to be sought, heard, and obeyed;…..not refused and rebelled against. And there is usually a time limit to our rebellion: either repentance….or destruction.
God knows how to bring down a person’s pride.
And how to finally awaken the person to His claims,…….upon the life He gave us.
(For some, it comes in rebukes: to back-strike with words, to get them into the way of life.
For some, it comes in chastening: things happen that would not have happened had we heard His rebuke….sometimes to others we love…..sometimes to ourselves.
All so that we will not continue our mad dash toward death.
For Manasseh….nothing affected him,…….until he was afflicted.)
2 Chronicles 33:13 “And prayed unto Him (the Lord): and was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom.
Then Manasseh knew that the Lord He was God.”
The prison brought him to the place he needed to be: alone….before God.
Repentance brought him to the place he needed to be: saved from his sins….
And brought him to his kingdom again. This time he was in subjection to God, bringing back the worship of God to Judah; whereby saving many of his people.
2 Chronicles 33:15-16 “And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.
And he repaired the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.”
Peace offerings! Because he had found peace with God. (So can we. Romans 5:1-2)
Thank offerings! Because he had finally found true satisfaction in God.
James 4:6. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Grace is the unmerited favor of power in our lives, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
He has power for us: everyday power to live for Him, and enjoy the peace and joy, He only can give.
And power to save and deliver us from the worst sins.
He can save to the uttermost those that call upon Him, and come to Him….He did Manasseh.