Moment of Transformation:
Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 2 Chronicles 33:12 NKJV
The kingdom of Judah, prosperous throughout the times of Hezekiah, was once more brought low during the long years of Manasseh’s wicked reign, when paganism was revived, and many of the people were led into idolatry. “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. The glorious light of former generations was followed by the darkness of superstition and error. Gross evils sprang up and flourished—tyranny, oppression, hatred of all that is good. Justice was perverted; violence prevailed.
Yet those evil times were not without witnesses for God and the right. The trying experiences through which Judah had safely passed during Hezekiah’s reign had developed, in the hearts of many, a sturdiness of character that now served as a bulwark against the prevailing iniquity. Their testimony in behalf of truth and righteousness aroused the anger of Manasseh and his associates in authority, who endeavored to establish themselves in evil-doing by silencing every voice of disapproval.
One of the first to fall was Isaiah, who for over half a century had stood before Judah as the appointed messenger of Jehovah.
Some of those who suffered persecution during Manasseh’s reign were commissioned to bear special messages of reproof and of judgment.
Faithfully the prophets continued their warnings and their exhortations; fearlessly they spoke to Manasseh and to his people; but the messages were scorned; backsliding Judah would not heed. As an earnest of what would befall the people should they continue impenitent, the Lord permitted their king to be captured by a band of Assyrian soldiers, who “bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon,” their temporary capital. This affliction brought the king to his senses; “he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:11-13.
Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 381-382
Quote of the Day “Prayer is the burden of revival; repentance is the breakthrough of revival; evangelism is the blessing of revival; holiness is the bounty of revival.” Steve Camp
Did You Know?
Manasseh, Judah’s longest reigning monarch, was probably the most wicked king in Judah. His fostering of idolatry was the reason for Jerusalem’s ultimate destruction. Yet at the same time, his life story shows the extent of divine compassion.
The chronicler has endeavored to make clear the ways by which God dealt with Manasseh, one of the most wicked and idolatrous of the Davidic kings. He shows that Manasseh exercised an essential human characteristic when he chose to depart from the Lord, as well as when he chose to pray in humble repentance. More important, he also shows that God was ever present and relating Himself and His activity to Manasseh and his actions. When Manasseh sinned, God revealed Himself in judgment; when Manasseh repented, God revealed Himself in mercy. Sin brings judgment, while repentance brings mercy.
Charles R. Wilson, Joshua-Esther, vol. 1:2, The Wesleyan Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), 422–423.
What does it take you to turn to God in repentance?
This Week’s Homework