Daily Thought for: 1st July

MANASSEH 

2 Chronicles 33

Surprisingly, his tomb was in a garden. Whether there was an inscription on his stone we cannot tell but the most suitable words had not then been written. Before Paul ever put them down in pen and ink, however, Manasseh had them written in flesh and blood. The words are, ‘Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound’, Rom. 5. 20. 

This man was the king of Judah who had the longest reign, fifty-five years, and also had the unenviable distinction of being the worst monarch. The recorded list of his evils is one of the darkest catalogues of crime to be found in Scripture, 2 Chr. 33. 2-9. Idolatry, immorality, witchcraft, persecution were all too common. He set himself to undo all his father had done and outdo what the heathen were doing. His name means ‘forgetting’ and he certainly forgot his godly upbringing and his parents’ example. Under Manasseh the people of Judah plunged to unparalleled depths of iniquity. 

Yet, this is a story that contains a ray of hope. Many of his predecessors had bright beginnings with duller endings. Manasseh started his reign blacker than any and finished brighter than most. Surely as we read the story of his corruption, his captivity, his conviction, his conversion, his cry for mercy, and his change we are compelled to say again, ‘where sin abounded, grace did much more abound’. 

His story gives hope to the parents of wayward children. The same God who brought Manasseh to the place of fetters and, subsequently, to the place of forgiveness is still able to do the same. Let us not give up trusting and praying. 

His experiences were a foreshadowing of what would shortly befall the nation which he represented. As rebellion led to his removal to Babylon, and repentance secured his return from it, so his people would soon go into captivity for disobedience but would also experience a restoration to their own land. The conversion of one was a parable of the deliverance of many. 

God’s mercy to Manasseh is His mercy to a multitude, ourselves among them. Let us, like him, offer to God today the sacrifices of ‘peace offerings and thank offerings’, 2 Chr. 33. 16. 

 

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