Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for fifty-five years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshipped them.
In his distress he sought the favour of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lod 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 33:1-3, 12-13 (NIV)
In our last post we considered the life of Josiah. In this post we look at the life of Josiah’s grandfather – Manasseh. Manasseh was a man who came after a king (Hezekiah) who turned the people back to God. It should have been easy for him to keep the people on track, focused on God. Despite his upbringing and seeing the reforms his father had implemented, Manasseh chose to return the country to pagan practices.
However, Manasseh did finally turn to God and receive forgiveness. God didn’t remind him of all he had done wrong in the past. He received forgiveness and was allowed to return from captivity to Jerusalem.
What can we learn from this? Principally that no one is ever so far from God that they cannot receive his forgiveness. When you look around, do you see those whose lives appear to be in opposition to God? Don’t give up on them, God hasn’t!
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