Yesterday I kind of dissed a king of Judah that we usually remember as a good king. Today I want to commend a king that is remembered as evil.
Manasseh was 12 when he succeeded his father Hezekiah as king of Judah. He worshipped other gods, built high places to them, put foreign altars in God's temple, and even sacrificed his own sons. The people of Judah followed him in his sin.
God did not sit quietly; he sent Assyria to capture Jerusalem and take Manasseh prisoner to Babylon. And this is the good part... Manasseh repents. God conquered Manasseh, and he humbled himself greatly and sought the God of his fathers. God listened and brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem. There Manasseh continued to follow God; he got rid of the foreign gods, restored the temple and the temple sacrifice, and rebuilt his city.
What a great testimony of God changing a life! And perhaps a picture of how God calls a believer's wayward child back to himself. Manasseh had a Jewish heritage that he had forsaken, yet when things got tough, that's what he returned to, his heritage. I pray that we are leaving just such a heritage for our children. So that even if they forsake it now, when God conquers them they will return to Him in humility and submission rather than running in anger.