Summary: This message shows us God’s faithfulness in Forgiveness of Manasseh. Also a picture of salvation.
Have you ever tried something and failed really bad at it? Failure is rarely a reason to give up and quit. We just finished listening to a zillion campaign commercials. Among the candidates who lost are candidates who will one day become great political figures. Among the candidates who won, are many who lost several times before they finally were elected.
Let me tell you of one candidate you know about. Imagine, how easy it would have been for this young man to have bowed his head and given up. He failed in business in ’31, he was defeated for the legislature in ’32, he was elected to the legislature in ’34. His sweetheart died in ’35, he had a nervous breakdown in ’36, he was defeated for speaker in ’38, he was defeated for elector in ’40, he was defeated for Congress in ’43, he was elected to Congress in ’46, defeated for Congress in ’48, defeated for Senate in ’50, defeated for vice president in ’56 and for Senate in ’58. But fortunately he was elected president in 1860. His name was Abraham Lincoln. He proves that failure need not be permanent.
We like to think that success is based on one victory after another, but even in the sports world, we know that simply is not true. Hank Aaron, the African American who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, struck out more times than 99% of the players who make it to the major league. Yet we do not remember him for the strike outs, just the home runs. He was of the belief after each strike out, if I just get another chance, I’ll hit a home run.
Everybody who finds their way to Jesus Christ, comes with the realization somewhere along the line, they failed miserably in their relationship to God. They come to God, not with a bold list of demands, but in a humble spirit in need of a second chance. I do not fully understand where we got the image of God being an old angry man with a long beard ready to zap us from out of space for each error we make, but it did not come from the Bible.
For the bible informs me that our God is a Second chance God. He took a murderer by the name of Moses, and turn him into a great national and spiritual leader. He took a liar and deceiver by the name of Jacob, and made him the cornerstone of a nation. He took an adulterer and murderer like David, and used him to write many of the Psalms to strengthen and encourage the people of God. He took a woman who had been married and divorced five times and was now living with a sixth man and turned her into the first evangelist to go into Samaria. He took some of us, who know what we were, and turned us into to what we are becoming today.
Today we are going to talk about the extreme grace and forgiveness of god. In my message tonight we will talk about a leader who worshipped everything God detested. Not only that he led his nation to do the same. He worshipped other gods, he even sacrificed children to them. How many of us in this room have really messed up with God? I think I can safely say everyone in this room has failed God at one point or time. Some of you might be saying, yeah but you haven’t blown it as bad as me. I have committed sins that are unpardonable. God could never forgive me of these unpardonable sins. Today we are looking to look at God’s Faithfulness in forgiveness.
Open your Bibles to 2 Chron. 33:1-20
Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah in Judah
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
2He did evil in the sight of the LORD according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel.
3For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he also erected altars for the Baals and made Asherim, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
4He built altars in the house of the LORD of which the LORD had said, "My name shall be in Jerusalem forever."
5For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger.
7Then he put the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever;