Manasseh was the son of King Hezekiah. It is written that Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of YHVH. You may remember that Hezekiah got sick, and God sent Isaiah the Prophet to him to tell him to get his house in order, for he was going to die. Hezekiah prayed and cried unto God. The LORD heard him, and sent Isaiah back to Hezekiah to tell him that his prayers were heard, and that God would let him live another 15 years!
The King wanted a sign that YHVH would indeed heal him. God allowed him to choose between the shadow going forward 10 degrees or back 10 degrees. Thinking it an easy thing (!) for the shadow to go forward, he requested that it go back, which, of course YHVH did! We have at least these 10 extra minutes added to our time: is anything too hard for YHVH!
(2Kg 21:1-18) But we want to look at Manasseh. Surely he heard from his father all that God had done. He was born three years after Hezekiah was healed. YHVH honored His covenant with David. Manasseh served 55 years as King of Judah, longer than any other king of Judah or of Israel. It is written that he did evil in the sight of God – worse than all the other kings, and even of the nations whom God drove out and destroyed when He brought the Israelis in to take the land of Canaan for a possession after the Passover exodus from Egypt. Scripture says that Manasseh did not listen to the Word of God or His warnings and promises. Instead, he acted more evilly.
HOW DID SUCH AN EVIL KING AND PERSON RECEIVE AN HONORABLE BURIAL?!
Let’s look in 2Chronicles 33:1-20, as we are directed to do in 2Kings. We read again of all the evil that Manasseh and his people did – even passing his sons through the fire as a sacrifice to the false god Molech!
HOW DID GOD LET HIM REIGN FOR SO LONG, AND WHY DID HE GET AN HONORABLE BURIAL?
God, the Father, punished Manasseh – in anticipation of what the whole people would suffer 100 years later – with affliction by Israel’s enemies. It is interesting that it says in verses preceding Chap. 33 that God withdrew (Heb: left; forsook) Hezekiah when Israel’s enemies came to see what Hezekiah had accomplished. God left Hezekiah to himself for a brief time to test him, to know what was in his heart. (Ja 1:12-15)
God is long-suffering, and will use all means at His disposal to bring those who would be His children to repentance and obedience of faith. And that is what happened with Manasseh! In affliction, he cried out to God and confessed his wicked ways against the majesty of the great and holy God. God heard him, and even allowed Manasseh to return as King again! The Lord, whose callings and gifts are without repentance, restored Manasseh to his ministry. It reminds me of Saul/Paul, when he realized in truth that Yeshua is YHVH.
Manasseh showed he was genuine by the works of faith he did as fruit of repentance. He did all that he could to try to correct the situation he had helped cause, but the people continued on their evil way. Great is the responsibility of leaders, and even if we repent, we can not undo all the damage we may have caused.
The judgments of YHVH are past finding out! Why doesn’t God give every person enough time – and trouble – to repent and be saved? How many die because of God’s unmerited favor towards me?!
Manasseh received an honorable burial because he turned back to the Lord. Repentance and faith must show themselves genuine through works. Manasseh was honored at his death. But there is still a hard lesson for us: how is Manasseh generally remembered? . . . as the worst king ever in Judah, like Jeroboam and Ahab in Israel!
Manasseh’s son Amon did not learn from his father’s repentance, but was established in all his wicked ways. (2 Chr 33: 21-22)
1. Parents, do not give up on your prayers for your children, and carry out your moral responsibility to discipline them, even with a spoon!
2. What a wonderful Father we have in Heaven!
3. The Scriptures are written for our learning, our admonition, that we might grow in the likeness of the Son of God.