Summary: The idea that grace is strictly a New Testament concept is foreign to the scriptures that I read. Just look at Manasseh.
Manasseh: Old Testament Grace
By: Joe Mack Cherry
A. Text II Kings 21: 1-17
1. Born 710 BC - two years into the 15 year extension God gave his father
2. Reign began in 698 BC at the age of 12
3. 55 year reign ended in 643 BC – Longest reigning king in Judah
C. Family History
1. Mt. 1: 10 He was of the lineage of Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father)
2. Father was King Hezekiah II Kings 18: 3-7
3. His mother was Hephzibah – Jewish history records that she was the daughter
of the prophet Isaiah.
4. He would have been trained in the ways of Judaism from birth.
5. This kid couldn’t miss; he had the genes, the money, and the lineage.
a. How many times have we said this about someone?
b. He was born for greatness.
c. It appears on the surface that Manasseh was a waste of royalty and
II. Manasseh – Pretty Much Spit in the Face of God
A. His Sins – were worse than those of the nations God drove out
1. II Kings 21: 3-8 He looked everywhere for guidance but the right place.
a. He undid most everything his father had done in re: idolatry. How many
times have we seen this happen in the secular world also?
b. Followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Ahaz
2. Asherah poles were re-erected (inside & outside the temple)
a. Asherah = Roman goddess Venus
b. Israelites worshipped her as the mother of Heaven.
3. Altars were erected to Baal – Baal is a term used to refer to a number of gods.
4. He worshipped the sun and the moon and erected altars inside the Temple of
5. Worshipped Moloch
a. Sun God
b. Required newborn babies as living sacrifices
c. The arms were heated until they glowed and babies were placed in the arms.
1. A fire pit was built under the arms to catch and cremate the bodies
2. Priest beat on drums to keep the fathers from hearing the death cries
6. Invoked spirits and practiced divination and sorcery
7. He shed innocent blood
a. He killed those who opposed his idolatrous ways
b. Jewish history records Manasseh killing Isaiah, his own grandfather by
sawing him asunder. (Heb. 11: 37 does not specifically name Isaiah but
many scholars believe this reference is to him.)
8. The 10 Commandments he obviously broke.
a. #1 – No other god before me (he had a multitude)
b. #2 – No graven image
c. #6 – Shall not commit murder.
9. Worst of all he led those under his rule astray.
B. The Consequences
1. Read II Kings 21: 10-18
2. Read II Chr. 33: 10-11 – he knowingly and willingly disobeyed God.
a. God sent the Assyrians to capture him.
b. NIV says Manasseh was carried away with a hook in his nose.
c. He had to watch the others be carried away in captivity also.
d. He was humbled. II Chr 33: 12
e. He found God!
3. Ex. 21: 22-25 – Why was he spared? Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life
C. The Rest of the Story (II Chr 33: 13 ff)
1. God forgave him. Vs 13 Read Jas. 4:6
2. God restored him.
3. Manasseh led others back also. Vs 17
4. Mention of a book not found in the canon records Manasseh’s prayer.
b. Found in the Apocrypha just before the Maccabeans books
5. He was buried in the Palace garden; not with his fathers as many were.
III. Points to Consider
A. The God of the OT is the same God of the NT
1. The concept of OT grace is neither foreign nor false.
a. Heb. 12: 8 – JC/God is the same today as He was in Manasseh’s time.
b. Micah 7: 18 KJV – God delights in showing mercy.
2. God has always shown grace to His children.
a. His children were the Israelites & the proselytes.
b. We are New Testament Israelites.
3. Do we pray God’s grace on those who (like Manasseh) fail miserably?
a. Are we jealous as some of the workers were in Mt. 20: 1-16?
b. God does not need our permission to bestow grace on anyone he chooses.
B. God can be touched by our prayers.
1. God heard Hezekiah’s prayer, if he hadn’t Manasseh would not have been.
2. God heard Manasseh’s prayer.
a. Prov. 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will
not depart from it.
b. Never give up on your children – God doesn’t!
3. It’s never too late for God’s children to pray.
a. Satan tells us it is.