2 Chronicles 33

Jan 20, 2023    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 33:9, NKJV)


Manasseh was Judah’s worst king, and yet he had been raised in a godly household. He was twelve years old when he became king, although some Bible scholars think that the first eleven years of his reign were a co-regency with his father Hezekiah. He did evil according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD cast out. He built altars for the Baals and worshiped the starry host. He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. He practiced witchcraft and consulted with mediums. He even set a carved image of Asherah in the house of God. It would have been bad enough if he had done these things himself, but he also seduced all of Judah to participate in this wickedness. In fact, he did even more evil than the nations whom the LORD had cast out of the land. The LORD spoke to Manasseh, but he would not listen. So God sent commanders of the Assyrian army who captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with chains, and took him to Babylon.


“But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed, the LORD listened to him and was moved by his request.” (2 Chronicles 33:12–13a, NLT)


It is amazing that God would hear Manasseh’s prayer and be moved with compassion. Anyone who thinks that the God of the Old Testament is not merciful needs to read this story! Not only did the LORD forgive Manasseh, but He also brought him back to Jerusalem and restored his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Yahweh is God.


I remember hearing a Billy Graham message many years ago where he told this story about Manasseh to show that no one is beyond the reach of the grace of God. The secret is to sincerely humble ourselves and take ownership of our sins. So many people seek to justify themselves or blame others rather than humbly confessing their sins. But when we are truly broken over the evil things we have done, then God can begin His miraculous work of healing and restoration.


Manasseh spent the remainder of his life worshiping the LORD and seeking to undo the damage he had done. However, Judah had now gone past the tipping point, and judgment of the nation was inevitable.