Manasseh, The king who provoked the Lord

Manasseh, an extraordinary demonstration God’ grace

If Hezekiah, the father of Manasseh, was an example of godliness, Manasseh did quite the opposite. Murder, blood, gross idolatry, nothing is missing on his “curriculum vitae” in terms of sin, both towards God and towards men. And since he was king, who would stop him? Well, God did it, but not as we would have done or imagined.

When was Manasseh taken prisoner?
Some think it was about midway through his reign, others in the last few years.

Why was he taken to Babylon by the Assyrians?
Most likely because it happened when the king of Assyria had just taken Babylon, about ten years before the end of the reign of Manasseh.

Why was he released?
The clemency of the king of Assyria? Not only: we read that God listened to the prayer of Manasseh. That’s the real story! It was God working in the background to bring this king to repentance, for our Saviour God “desires that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

Here are three lessons taken from the reign of Manasseh.

Hezekiah, the king who trusted in the Lord

Hezekiah, an example of piety

At his death, Hezekiah was buried “in the highest place of the sepulchers of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor” (2 Chronicles 32:33). He is in every respect different from his father Ahaz. Here are some differences between the two.

—His father turned entirely to idolatry, and even sacrificed one of his sons to these horrible idols. Hezekiah, he turned wholly to the Lord his God, and celebrated the Passover which speaks of the sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of whosoever believes in Him.

—His father set aside the altar of brass and made another, modified the house as he wanted and finally, he closed the doors of the temple. Hezekiah opens the doors of the temple, and has the house sanctified and cleansed.

—Ahaz turned to the king of Assyria and his idols for help, and got none. Hezekiah turned to the Lord and they were miraculously saved from their enemy, the king of Assyria.

—When his father died, he was not even buried in the sepulcher of the kings of Israel. But Hezekiah was given the highest place.

Hezekiah did “what was right in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that David his father had done” (2 Chronicles 29: 2). And “his good deeds” (2 Chronicles 32:32) are also reported to us. Just like us Hezekiah was not perfect, but his heart was really for God. He learned his lessons and we also grow in the things of God.

Here are three lessons taken from the reign of Hezekiah to continue to grow in the ways of God.