Manasseh’s story is an unlikely source illustrating God’s mercy. It may not be very familiar to you.
Manasseh was the oldest son of Hezekiah. While Hezekiah was known as a righteous king of Jerusalem, his son, Manasseh, was evil. The author of Chronicles says, “Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites” (2 Chronicles 33:9 NIV). God spoke to Manasseh and the people; but they wouldn’t listen to him. So God sent the Assyrians to conquer them. They captured Manasseh and humiliated him by putting a hook in his nose, shackling him, and taking him to Babylon.
So where’s the mercy?
But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.2 Chronicles 33:12 NLT
Manasseh remembered the God of his ancestors and sought forgiveness! Scripture tells us that he earnestly humbled himself, submitting himself to God. God was moved by his prayer, giving Manasseh the kingdom back to him. This phrase speaks to the depth of Manasseh’s prayer: “Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.”
Here’s the mercy – God can redeem anyone, no matter the depths of their sin when they genuinely repent! This is good news for all of us!
Prayer of Gratitude
Father, Manasseh’s story is full of hope and mercy. It reminds us that when we confess our sins You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins. in Your great mercy You do not put an end to us or abandon us, for You are a gracious and merciful God. We bless Your name and long to bring glory to Your name. Amen.
Addendum: We often have to suffer the consequences of sin even after God redeems us. Manasseh did his best to restore proper worship in the land. The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God. While they sacrificed only to God, doing so in the high places was not in God’s plan. Manasseh’s son, Amon, was just as evil as his father had been and was finally assassinated.
**You can read Manasseh’s story in 2 Chronicles 32:33 – 33:20 and 2 Kings 21:1-18.
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