King Manasseh was one of the baddest apples ever to disgrace the Israelite barrel. He practiced things like sorcery, divination, witchcraft, consulted mediums, and even ritually slaughtered some of his own children to appease the gods whose approval he wanted. “Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention” (2 Chronicles 33:9,10).
But get this—God didn’t give up on him. I would have, but God didn’t. He kept reaching out to him, finally resorting to the “divine two-by-four”—he allowed Manasseh to be taken captive and hauled to Babylon in chains. There he repented and humbled himself before the Lord. In his captivity he finally had time to reflect and pray. He was allowed to return as king, and he launched a spiritual reformation of purging away Baal worship and bringing back the Word of the Lord.
This is a big deal. People who have made a string of rebellious mistakes in their lives may imagine that it is too late for them, that God could never forgive their past, that there is no hope. God’s restoration of a bad boy like Manasseh shows that it is never too late, that God’s mercy triumphs over judgment, and that the time is now to humble yourself and repent.
Is there a bad apple in your family who could stand to hear of God’s mercy one more time?