Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king after the death of his father, Hezekiah. As good as his father was for Judah, Manasseh was evil in kind. He rebuilt all the high places that his father destroyed, and he erected altars for worship of the Baals, and made Asheroth. He even burned his own sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. Recall that practices such as these were the very reason that God gave the Canaanites over to the Israelites in the first place. He also used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. The kingdom had sunk to its lowest point, it seemed. The wrath of God burned hot. To make matters worse, he set a carved image of an idol in the house of the Lord.
Then God sent the Assyrians, and they captured him with hooks and bound him with chains, taking him to Babylon. Then incredibly, Manasseh had a change of heart and repented in prayer to God. God was moved by his pleas and restored him to Jerusalem. After this, he built an outer wall for the city, and he took away all of the idols, including the one he had placed in the house of the Lord. He tore down the altars and threw them all outside the city. Then he commanded the people to worship God. But they still sacrificed at the high places, but only to God.
It is worth noting that if God can forgive evil as Manasseh had done, he will forgive anyone with a repentant heart.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.