Summary: Describes the work and mistakes of King Manasseh and what we can learn from him.
Manasseh: King of Judah
2 Chronicles 33:1-8,11-17
Primary Purpose: To speak about the importance of repetance of sin and
the forgiveness of God
Background: Manasseh was the son of Hezekiah. He was 12 years old
when he became king. He reigned 55 years. He was involved in the worship
of the Baals, Asherah poles, stars, Molech, sorcery, divination, consulted
mediums and spiritists. In other words, the consulting with those who are
deceased. He placed the idols he had made in the temple of the Lord. He
ruled between 696-641 B.C.
1. Rebellion against his father’s authority and god- he rebuilt what his father
Hezekiah had destroyed. v.1-8. He thought he knew better than his father
how to run the kingdom. He did not heed his father’s example of wisdom.
His was a time of injustice, bribery and violence 2 Kings 21:16; Isaiah was
martyred during this time Heb 11:37 Habukkuk spoke of this time as being a
time of injustice and violence.
2. The brokenness of Manesseh- because of his rebelllious heart he is taken
captive literally by the nose and in shackles to Babylon. v.10-12 He has to be
taken to the lowest point where he has been shamed and embarrased to
realize that he was wrong. Verse 10 indicates that the Lord had tried to
speak to the people and Manasseh before, but they wouldn’t listen. At this
point, he humbles himself and cries out to God. W.A. Criswell called this a
foxhole confession. He is brought to the end of himself and then begins
looking at himself correctly and seeking after God. The prodigal son was
another who was like this.
3. The forgiveness of God v.13. Even though he had done so much evil and
shed innocent blood (2 Ki 21:16). God still forgives him. God sees that his
repentance is true. This reminds me of the man Saddam Hussein, who is
leading his country again toward war. He is a violent man who got to where
he is through violence and has been violent even to his own family. He is a
ruthless man. This is the kind of man Manasseh was. The forgiveness of
God shows us that no one has run too far from God that God cannot reach out
to him or her
4. A Changed heart v.14-17- The evidence of true repentance was in the
changed lifestyle. He threw out the idols and restored temple worship as his
father had done. Charles Hodge once said that “The sure test of the quality
of any supposed change of heart will be found in its permanent effects. “By
their fruit you shall know them” is as applicable tot he right method of
judging ourselves as of judging others. Whatever, therefore, may have beeen
our inward experience, whatever joy or sorrow we may have flet, unless we
bring forth fruits of repentance, our experience will profit us nothing.
Repentance is incomplete unless it leads to confession and restitution in cases
of injury; unless it causes us to forsake not merely outward sins, which others
notice, but those which lie concealed in the heart; unless it makes us choose
the service of God and live not for ourselves but for Him. There is no duty
which is either more obvious in itself, or more frequently asserted in the
Word of God, than that of repentance.
He came to the Lord just as he was and sought him based on God’s
mercy. There’s a story about a pastor who got a call from the bus station.
The caller was a young man who had grown up in a church that the pastor
had served some years before. This young man had gotten off the track. He
had been experimenting with drugs, had lost touch with his family, and was
out of work and hungry. Could this young man’s former pastor give him
some help on this cold, winter night?
The pastor went to the bus station. When he saw the young man, he
couldn’t believe his eyes. He was filthy and tattered, emaciated in body and
broken in spirit. The pastor brought him home. As the young man ate
supper, the pastor asked him if he had ever asked God to help him.
“No”, the young man answered, “but when I get myself together and
start coming back to church, then I am going to ask Christ to help me.”
“My friend”, said the pastor, “it will never happen that way. If you
think that you have to get yourself together on your own and then come to
Christ, you will never do it. You’re going to have to come to Christ as you
are at this moment, and then he will give you the strength to start getting
things together.” So, Manasseh did this. He called upon God and God