Abominable sins, repudiated

2 Chron 33
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 But he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them… And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6 Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger... 9 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.  
10 And the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen. 11Therefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks,
 bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon.12 Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 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. 14 After this …15 He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. 16 He also repaired the altar of the LORD, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.

There are several lessons to be learned from this text as we prepare to confess our sins. One is how wicked we can be, and the Lord will still plead with us to repent. There are sins discretely listed here that are as bad as some of the worst we can think up happening today. If we DO repent of those sins, God receives and forgives us. Even Manasseh was restored. Another lesson to learn is that God sometimes brings hard correction to us when we won’t listen to His Word and Spirit. If we repent after that, God doesn’t reject us, but receives and blesses us. A final lesson to learn here is the power of example. You can lead others into sin, as Manasseh seduced Judah. Or you can call upon friends, children, siblings, to serve the Lord. Either one will have an effect on others. It is not only kings who influence in this way. Part of our repentance of sin needs to include how we’ve caused others to stumble.


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