The descendant called Manasseh became the fourteenth king of Judah. He was the son King Hezekiah by Hezbevak (2 Kings 211-18). He reigned longer than any Israelite King (55 years) and had it said about him that he was Judah’s most wicked king. It was written that he seduced Judah to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel (2 Kings 21:9). The historian Josephus said he called for daily executions and as responsible for the Prophet Isaiah being sawed in half (Hebrews 11:37).
The king was committed to idolatry like no one else. He abolished all the good his father had done. He had altars to Baal; he put an image of Asherah in God’s Temple. He sacrificed his son to Molech. He dies and his son, Amon, becomes king and he is evil. End of story? Nope!
Let us move from Kings to 2 Chronicles 33:11-20. Same history but it seems that Manasseh was captured by the Assyrians and taken to Babylon. There in his distress, he called on God. He sought His favor and earnestly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. Guess what? God heard his petition and granted his request, brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. It is said he came to know that the Lord is God.
Upon his return, he tried to reverse what he had set into motion. His deeds are found in verses 14-17. He removed foreign gods, put the altar back into the temple and resumed worship to God. He told the people to serve God but they wouldn’t listen. When he dies the throne goes to his on Amon who undid everything his father had tried to do and he was an evil king. He lasted two years and then he was murdered by his servants.
Why this story? Amazing grace came from God even in the light of all the evil he had done as king. God responded to a terrible king but did not Jesus do the same? He responded to the criminal on the cross and told those around him that He forgave them. What about you and me? Did we not have amazing grace given to us?
Manassseh knew peace in his last days but his evil had been ingrained into the people and his son. He tried to make a difference but it was too little too late. We still face that situation today.
Today I know people that have served the Lord for years and would do anything for you. Yet they carry the stigma of the past-prison, institutions, mental issues, deserted families, had children taken away, etc. You can be forgiven by God and only hope that you get it from others. You see, even after salvation, you have to deal with the consequences of your sins. Prisons have Christians and Chaplains. Manasseh was a changed man but yet he is still known as the most evil king ever! 2 Chronicles is the only place you can read about his repentance but there is always hope for the believer. God is capable of anything- just have faith!