Manasseh is the next king in the line of Judah. He is an EVIL king! All the sins that could be done are done by him. Why did God let him reign so long?
Right after having the most faithful king since David, we come to the wickedest king yet. Judah had had 29 years of serving the Lord. Not everything was perfect but God blessed what Hezekiah did. He even turned back Assyria on their behalf. Now EVERYTHING that Hezekiah had done is undone.
Manasseh rebuilds all the ‘high places’ that Hezekiah had destroyed. He would have needed to start from scratch because Hezekiah didn’t just prevent the people from worshiping there but “destroyed” them. Manasseh build altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole like Ahab of Israel did. Manasseh worshiped the hosts of heaven. This would be the sun, the moon, and all the stars; the constellations.
Manasseh didn’t stop with idolatry outside the Temple. He brought his depravity right into the House of the Lord. “He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord” (verse 5). “And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, ‘In this house, and in Jerusalen, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever’” (verse 7). Nothing and nowhere was beyond the reach of his sin. He even burned his son as an offering!
He “used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers” (verse 4b). If he wanted to know what lay ahead he should have consulted GOD instead!
EVERYTHING he did was despicable and displeasing to the Lord. And he led the people of Judah right along with him. THIS WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED. Whether that punishment be during their life on earth or eternity to come, there WILL/WERE consequences for his sins. His larger consequences will be for leading the people to sin.
Manasseh is without excuse. Not only did he have a father who modeled the path of righteousness but he also had the prophets who brought God’s words of warning to him. But that is a story for another day.
I honestly had trouble even wanting to write about Manasseh. The evil in his heart reaches out from the pages of God’s word and STILL hurts. How could he be so blind! God’s miracles were so close to his lifetime, yet he ignored the stories. He was not alive when 185,000 men of Assyria’s army failed to wake up after their king disdained the name of God. He was the fruit of God’s grace in giving Hezekiah 15 more years of life.
Manasseh was young when his father died and when he was made king but he HAD to have had time learning of the Lord at his father’s knee. And what of his advisors. Did none of them praise the Lord in his presence? I honestly wonder what went into the ‘making of this monster.’ What could have been done differently? But he too was part of God’s plan.
Father God, I understand that sometimes it is important to taste the bad so we can recognize the good, but this king makes my skin crawl. Maybe that is why he is included AND his works spoken of in such detail. I need to see the full list so as not to join in any of Manasseh’s sins.
KEEP ME FAR AWAY FROM HIS EXAMPLE! I want NOTHING on the throne of my life but YOU Father.