What do we do with Manasseh?
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.”2 Kings 21:1-2 NIV
How do we expect a 12 year old boy to rule a nation? How do we expect a boy to have the character to withstand the temptations and pressures of ruling? There is so much we don’t know about Manasseh. We have what the Lord has chosen to share with us…the consequences of his evil actions. Those consequences don’t just affect him but all the people of Judah.
How have my sins and evil actions affected those around me? Even when I don’t think I’m hurting anyone?
Manasseh’s sin influenced the nation of Judah to walk away from God. Could his repentance also influence them?
“In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.”2 Chronicles 33:12-13 NIV
What a turn around! I would love to know what Manasseh said to God. What is more important in this story, however, is what we learn about Gods character. He is a God of forgiveness. He is a God who’s heart is for His people. He desires to withhold his wrath. He is FOR His people.
“The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.”2 Chronicles 33:17 NIV
How humbling that our repentance can influence others just as our wickedness can. I pray that our lives will be marked by repentance.
Dear God, I don’t want my sin to be what influences those around me. I want my repentance…my humility…my turning towards you to influence. God continue to convict me and heal me and change me! Amen.