King Manasseh was a real life prodigal son. His story reminds us that no sinner is so far gone that he cannot repent and come back and no sin is too grave or too vile for God to forgive, if one will repent and be obedient to Him.
Manasseh was the son of King Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 32. Hezekiah was a great king in Judah. He was faithful in service to God. He had destroyed the false idols, torn down the high places of worship, and sought to bring honor to the Lord all of his days.
We read in Isaiah 38, and 2 Kings 20, how God sent Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that he was going to die. Hezekiah then, turned his face to the wall and cried. Then we read, how God sent Isaiah back to Hezekiah and God granted him 15 more years of life. We don't know for sure what it was that made Hezekiah cry when he first heard the news.
But, I believe it was because at that time, he had no heir. We read in 2 Chronicles 32-33 that when Hezekiah did die, 15 years later, that his son Manasseh reigned in his place and that he was but 12 years old when he began to reign. So Manasseh was born during those 15 years of extended life that God had given to his father, Hezekiah.
The Abominations of King Manasseh
Manasseh reigned for 55 years. It would be reasonable to think that during those first 12 years of his life, that Hezekiah had taught him to know God.
This story teaches us, that it is possible to do the right thing as parents, to raise our children in the Lord, and still, the child may grow up and go astray.
We have to ensure that we teach them how to return.
The Wicked King Manasseh
2 Chronicles 33:2-4, We learn of all that King Manasseh was doing that were abominations to God.
- Rebuild the high places and groves of false worship
- Built altars to Baal
- Built altars IN the House of the Lord
- Made his children to pass through the fire in the Valley of Hinoam, a place of human sacrifice to the god Molech.
- He set up idols to the hosts of heaven for worship in the house of God.
2 Chronicles 33:6,7 This man was deplorable in the acts which he committed against God.
- He made Judah to sin worse than any other king before him.
- Practiced the occult, provoking the Lord to anger.
2 Chronicles 33:9 tells us that his acts were worse than the acts of the heathen.
"And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." - Mark 9:42
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." - Matthew 18:6
The Captive King Manasseh
In 2 Kings 21:10 we read where God warned the people through the prophets that if they did not repent, they would be carried off into captivity like their brethren in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
2 Chronicles 33:11, we see that King Manasseh himself was carried off in fetters to Babylon by the Assyrian King Esarhadden, where he was imprisoned.
The Repentance of King Manasseh
"And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God." - 2 Chronicle 33:12,13
This king brought himself down and made supplication to God, and we are old that God brought him back, out of captivity and restored his kingdom to him.
- 2 Corinthians 7:8-10, 'godly sorrow worketh repentance;
- Luke 15:11-15, the parable of the prodigal son
The Restoration of King Manasseh
2 Chronicles 33:14, the restored son of Hezekiah returned to Jerusalem, his life and his kingdom were returned to him. God showed him mercy.
- Psalm 97:10
- Psalm 103:8
King Manasseh's Work of Repentance
2 Chronicles 33:14-16
- He took away the strange gods
- He rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem
- He rebuild Jerusalm
"Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance" - Matthew 3:8
- Revelation 2:5
Manasseh did the works of repentance showing great humility.
- 2 Corinthians 7:10,11
No sin is so vile that God does not forgive when the heart truly repents.
The Effect of King Manasseh
Despite Manasseh's repentant efforts, the people continued sacrificing to falsely on the high places.While we can repent, and be forgiven, we still face consequences for our sin.
We see such consequences in the life of David. Though he repented of his sin with Bathsheba he faced consequences for his actions.
But, if we truly return to God, we can be forgiven, we can be restored to God. If you have ever returned to God, you can by believing in His Son Jesus Christ, confessing him before men, putting him on in baptism and rising to walk a new life with Him.
Or if you've been a Christian and have strayed, you can come back through repentance and be forgiven.