‘Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos’ (Matthew 1:10)
Read: 2 Chronicles 33:1-20; 2 Kings 21:1-18
He was the ultimate rebel. He completely turned his back on God and led the nation astray. King Manasseh carried out incomprehensible evil, including burning his sons as an offering to false gods (2 Chronicles 33:6). The Lord graciously spoke to him, but he would not listen. So God sent the Assyrians to take him captive. With a hook through his nose, they dragged him away.
In The Problem of Pain, Oxford Professor CS Lewis said: ‘God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.’ In God’s wisdom, this suffering brought Manasseh to his senses. He humbled himself. He cried out in prayer. God was moved and forgave him, and the nation experienced God’s favour again.
If God could forgive Manasseh, he can forgive you! He promises to cleanse you of all unrighteousness, every type of sin, however big, or small if you confess it to him. Confession and repentance turned Manasseh’s life turned around. He lived in right response to grace. He restored what he had destroyed to honour the name of his Lord.
There is hope for every person here. However much you may have ‘misspent’ or ‘wasted’ your life, you can live to wonderfully worship God. You can make a positive difference that will have an impact for eternity. But it all begins with humility. Manasseh ‘humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers’ (2 Chronicles 33:12) – and so must we. Confession, owning your sin, is a powerful way to do exactly that. It’s how you’ll know the joy of forgiveness. And those who have been forgiven much, love much and enjoy the praise and approval of Jesus (Luke 7:47).
God of amazing grace, thank you that no one is beyond your loving redemption. Please forgive my rebellion. Forgive me for turning my back on you. Forgive me for all the evil I have done. Thank you that you saved me by faith; that you promised to forgive me my sins; that you work to turn my life around and conform me to the image of your son, Jesus. May your joy be my petrol to serve you. Empower me to honour your name with my life. Amen.