The story of King Manasseh is a great example of the patience God has with each of us. It shows that God will forgive and restore even the worst of sinners. If you have ever thought you were to bad for God to help, you’re wrong. Manasseh is only one of many stories in the Bible of God’s loving willingness to restore even those who have tried to prove they are the worst.
Manasseh’s story is told in 2 Chronicles 33. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He built altars for Baal and Asherah. He sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing His anger. (33:1-6)
Then, “the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. So the Lord sent the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and cried out humbly to the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request for help. So the Lord let Manasseh return to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Manasseh had finally realized that the Lord alone is God!” (33:10-13)
When Manasseh returned to Jerusalem he tried to undo the wrong things he had done. He tore down all the altars he had built to Baal. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord, the God of Israel. (33:14-17)
- Manasseh was a bad cat. He killed his sons. He worshiped idols and encouraged all of Judah to do the same. He ignored the warnings of God.
- Even though he had aroused the anger of God, God hadn’t given up on Manasseh. When the enemy came and took the king away, God was still watching to see what Manasseh would do.
- The Bible tells us that the Lord listened and was moved by his request for help. How totally incredible. The prayer of this horrible, evil man, moved God.
- God wanted this man to turn to him. And when Manasseh did, God was moved.
- God sent the Assyrian army to take him prisoner, God used strong means to get his attention. Manasseh had to be imprisoned and have everything taken away from him before he would humble himself and seek God.
God loves each of us. God longs for each of us to come to him and realize that He alone is God. May we all be like Manasseh. When God gets tough with us may we turn to him. May our prayers move God to restore and rebuild our lives. May He give us a chance and the strength to restore that which we tried to destroy.
2 Chronicles 33