Imagine a twelve-year-old becoming absolute ruler of a nation. His every command would be law–a situation that might cause a few problems. And it did. Here’s the story.
After ruling Judah for twenty-nine years, King Hezekiah died, and his twelve-year-old son became king. But unlike his father, Manasseh had no intention of serving God. He took up sorcery, divination, and witchcraft. He consulted mediums and psychics. He quickly set up pagan altars and encouraged idol worship all over the country–even within the Lord God’s Temple in Jerusalem. Ignoring God’s patient warnings, he led the people into more evil than all the nations around them.
Finally, God sent the cruel Assyrians to invade Judah. They captured Manasseh and led him away to prison in Babylon.
Did Manasseh cry out for his pagan idols to save him? No. He turned to the Lord God Almighty whom his good father had served. “And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request for help” (2 Chronicles 33:13, New Living Translation). God then restored Manasseh to his throne in Judah.
This amazing experience brought Manasseh to his senses. Now realizing that the Lord alone is God, he changed. He destroyed every foreign idol and restored the Lord’s altar in the Temple at Jerusalem. There he worshiped the Lord God and encouraged his people to do the same.
Can a bad boy or girl turn good? Yes! God promises that no matter how bad our past, we can humbly turn to God, be forgiven and live a changed life.
Focus: “If a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed … none of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him.” ~Ezekiel 18:21-22, New Living Translation.
What about you? Do you know someone who, with the Lord’s help, left a bad past to live a changed life? Please share.