Scripture for today: 2 Chronicles 33.
Manasseh became king after the death of his father, Hezekiah. His 55–year reign would be the longest in the nation’s history.
Not only was Manasseh the longest–reigning king, he was also the vilest. According to 2 Kings 24:3, “The sins of Manasseh” were the reason that God would not relent on His judgment of Judah. Manasseh led the nation into a deeper level of idolatry, sorcery, and child sacrifice. In the midst of his debauchery, God sent prophets to warn him, but Manasseh would not relent.
Finally, God sent the Assyrian army to discipline the wayward king. Manasseh was brutally taken into captivity. In the midst of his punishment, Manasseh turned to the LORD. In response to his contrition, God brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem where 2 Chronicles 33:13 says, “Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.”
Once back in Jerusalem, Manasseh tried to undo all the damage he had inflicted upon the moral fabric of the nation. He removed the pagan altars and commanded that the people serve the LORD. However, his acts of repentance could not undo the damage of his previous lawlessness. Upon his death, Manasseh’s son Amon would lead the nation back into idolatry and eventual judgment. The people who followed Manasseh in his sin did not follow him in his repentance. The nation remained corrupted by the previous sins of Manasseh.
We must remember that our sin may lead others astray, and they may never come back. Therefore, think about the ones you love before you get involved with sin, because sin produces collateral damage.
This devotion is based on Marty McLain’s book “The Crown has Fallen: A Study of the Kings of Judah.”