Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. – 2 Kings 21:1-2 ESV
We are to be ROLE MODELS! People are using us as an example of what they want to be like, or what they would never desire to be like? We are either moving people closer to our beliefs or moving them farther away. Billy Graham told us years ago, that CHRISTIANS do more to scare people away from Jesus than anything the devil can do! Is your WALK, your WAY, your FAITH bringing people closer to GOD, or are your ACTIONS and ATTITUDES, moving people farther away? Are you leading people closer to, or farther away from the GREAT I AM? Consider the BACKSTORY for Manasseh: Most likely; the stories of the Divine deliverance of Jerusalem by God and the Divine healing received by Hezekiah were told endlessly as Manasseh grew up. Manasseh also surely found out that Hezekiah had shown the Babylonians “everything,” and that the prophet Isaiah had pronounced God’s curse on the nation and on Manasseh for Hezekiah’s foolishness. What is your WALK WITH GOD passing onto your children and those watching?
Leader, Manasseh also must have known that his father, Hezekiah, did nothing to avert the judgment “of his Father’s God” upon the nation and upon Manasseh himself. He was a mere boy growing up in a royal household and he is repeatedly reminded that “his father’s God” has pronounced a Divine curse upon him for his father’s sin.” Manasseh was under a generational curse, and surely felt doomed and rejected by both God and his father. Manasseh likely grew to regard his father’s God as unfair and cruel. Manasseh also saw his father, King Hezekiah, enjoying life throughout Manasseh’s boyhood, and there is no record Hezekiah ever intervened with God in behalf of his son. It is not hard to see how Manasseh, as a boy, grew to hate both his father and his father’s God.
Conduit, are others desiring more of the God you follow? If others were to use your relationship with God as a launching pad for their relationship with God- what would that relationship be like? As we consider what our relationship with GOD and TO GOD, looks like from the outside, looking in- what story would it tell? Would people want MORE of what you have and do with GOD, or would they despise and want NOTHING MORE TO DO with your God? God showed justice to Manasseh in warning and punishing him. He also showed mercy in responding to Manasseh’s heartfelt repentance by forgiving and restoring him. Given the nature of Manasseh’s rebellion, we are not surprised by God’s punishment, which was defeat and exile at the hands of the Assyrians. But Manasseh’s repentance and God’s forgiveness are unexpected. Manasseh’s life was changed. He was given a new start. In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God. (2 Chronicles 33:12-13) Read 2 Chronicles 33 to understand how our actions affect others. Manasseh went from one of the most wicked and evil kings- to a follower of Yahweh! God knows who HIS are- He has since BEFORE the beginning of time. Our Job is to represent our LORD and SAVIOR in such a way that even the ‘Manasseh”s of the world, decide they want to CHANGE their ways and their focus. and follow our God!