Biblical Story Of Manasseh And Lessons
BIBLE TEXT: 2 CHRONICLES 33:1-20, 2 KINGS 21:1-18
Manasseh was twelve (12) years old when he began to reign in Jerusalem. He reigned for a total of fifty-five (55) years. (vs. 1) He was a king that did evil in the sight of the Lord (vs. 2). He was the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah. He refused to walk in the ways of his father King Hezekiah.
He however did that which was evil in the sight of God. He did not continue in the doctrine of his father Hezekiah. In fact, he did much worse evil than the ungodly nations that were defeated by Israel. In fact, God’s Word says, that “Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen. He reared up altars for Baalim (vs. 3) and he did much evil rejecting the law of the Lord God above.
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His reign was the longest in the history of any king of Israel – fifty-five long years – although he was the youngest king to ascend the throne. He also had the record of being the worst king that Judah ever had. Manasseh’s father, King Hezekiah, was a righteous man, who pleased God throughout his reign. However, his son Manasseh was not. The bible says he built up again the high places of idols which his father destroyed. He did all manner of evil and gave himself up to idol worship.
A further study of the life and times of King Manasseh revealed that he builded up all the groves and high places of idol worship which his father, King Hezekiah destroyed. He built altars for Baal worship. He destroyed all the good works of his father. His reign was a complete contrast to his father’s reign.
In addition, King Manasseh rejected the law and teachings of God which his father passed on to him. This made him so desperately evil to a point of making his sons pass through fire in worship of idols. He equally committed the evils boldly.
However, when Manasseh encountered great affliction, he turned to the true and only God of Israel. He humbled himself before the Almighty God, and prayed to Him for forgiveness. God heard his prayers and forgave him, therefore fulfilling the scripture in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”
Manasseh further took a step of faith to right all the wrongs he had done. This action of his was to affirm his conversion from his wicked and ungodly ways. He removed all the strange gods and idols from the house of the Lord. He began worshipping the one and only true God of Israel.
The bible further says, “Nevertheless, the people still sacrificed in the high places.” This is an indication that even though Manasseh had turned from his wicked ways unto the righteous God, he was unable to turn the hearts of the people back to God. The people still continued in their idol worship. Most times, when we do what is wrong in the sight of God and cause the people around us to stumble by making them to err against God, we might not be able to prove otherwise to them when we have repented. Many parents have led their children into religious and moral errors. Then, when the parents have learned the truth, they often are unable to get their children, who are now grown ups and matured, to repent of their sins and accept the truth. The same has happened with gospel preachers who went astray and returned to the truth. Like Manasseh, they took the brave step to correct their wrongs, but are usually unable to get those whom they have misled/corrupted to retrace their steps and change.
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF MANASSEH
There are lots of kingdom lessons to learn from Manasseh, the king with the longest reign in the history of the Israelites. Although his story is not one of the popular stories in the Bible, it is still loaded with gems.
- The righteousness or uprightness of a parent does not guarantee the salvation of his children. Salvation is a personal experience. However, the priority of every Christian parent is to produce godly offspring, by training them in the way of the Lord according to Proverbs 22:6.
- The length of service does not guarantee the quality or faithfulness of service. One who has been in the Lord for many years does not necessarily have more knowledge, zeal or faith than one who just gave his life to God less than a year ago. What determines the quality of our service to God and relationship with him is constant meditation on the word of God and obedience to his commands.
- An ungodly and wayward child can bring to disrepute in a single day all the good works and legacy of his father. It is therefore highly important to ensure that our children have a personal salvation experience, so that they will not destroy our own legacy. Manasseh destroyed all the good records of his father during his own reign.
- When a person is not walking in the will of God, there is no limit to the degree of evil such an individual can commit. Even in our contemporary world, some Christians have deviated from the laws of God and gotten involved with the affairs of this world, like fraud, murder, cheating, idolatry, rape, incest, etc. When people despise the laws of God, anything can happen in the process.
- We all have a certain level/ type of influence on others. Manasseh certainly did, but instead of using his influence to win souls for God, he used his influence to turn the hearts of the people away from God. As children of God, how do we use our influence anywhere we find ourselves? Is it for good, as the light of the world as stated in Matthew 5:14, or is it as imitators of the world as found in Romans 12:1,2. We should endeavor to use our influence to win souls to the kingdom of God, anywhere we find ourselves.
- God can take the worst sinner, forgive him of his sins and make him a mighty vessel in His hands. But he must ask for forgiveness and turn away from his evil ways. This is similar to the story of Saul of Tarsus who was a great persecutor of the children of God. As soon as he met with Jesus, he turned around for good and became a celebrated saint.
- It is not enough to just get converted from our wicked ways; we must also take steps to make restitution. This will further strengthen our commitment to God.