• Timothy R Robinson

Mercy and Grace

King Manasseh is a character we meet in Scripture that I have always been intrigued by. His life and story are amazing, but more importantly, his life points to certain attributes of God that are dear to my heart. God has many attributes, but Scripture seems to bring up some attributes more than others. For instance, when Moses asked to see the LORD, the LORD passed by Him saying,

““The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6).

God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and faithfulness. These attributes come up a lot in Scripture, and we actually see them play out in the lives of many, especially in the life of King Manasseh.

So we all know that growing up in a Christian home doesn’t promise our children will become Christians. God desires a personal relationship with His children, this means we all have to respond to His invitation to salvation by our own mouth (Romans 10:9). No one knew this more than King Hezekiah.

King Hezekiah was considered a good King, yet he was the father of who the Bible calls the most evil King in Jewish History, King Manasseh. Manasseh was the most evil king and reigned the longest, 55 years to be exact. The Bible says

Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel (2 Chronicles 33:9).

So for the record, the nations the Lord destroyed were pretty evil! This means Israel surpassed them in evil deeds, all led by Manasseh. Geez!

And in case you find it hard to believe that Manasseh was the wickedest man alive at that time, God provided some examples.

  • Kings 21:3 he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.

  • 2 Kings 21:4 he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.”

  • 2 Kings 21:5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord.

  • 2 Chron 33: 6 he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers.

Witchcraft, child sacrifice, astrology, desecration of the temple, and demon worship was just some of Manasseh’s hobbies.

Also, History tells us that the prophet Isaiah was one of the prophets sawed asunder we read about in Heb 11:37. Many believe this happened under the authority of King Manasseh.

Yes, you read that right. He cut a prophet of God in half!

Yet, we see God’s mercy and grace all over the life of Manasseh.

Mercy and Grace #1 God reached out to Manasseh

2 Chron 33:10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention.

God was pretty angry with Manasseh, but instead of striking him down like He did others, God reached out to King Manasseh through the prophets. But Manasseh rejected God’s reaching out and continued his life of sin.

Mercy and Grace #2 God brought Manasseh to his knees

2 Chron 33:11 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon

God could have taken him out Himself, or he could have let the Assyrian King cut off Manasseh’s head and feet which is what happened to most Kings once captured. Instead, Manasseh keeps his body parts and is made a slave.

Mercy and Grace #3 God heard Manasseh’s prayer

2 Chron 33:12-13

And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

Yep, you read that right. He humbled himself and God brought him back to his throne. Seems a little too easy doesn’t it? I could see someone saying “that’s injustice.”

That was my point in the beginning of this. My favorite attributes of God are really put on display in the life of Manasseh.

““The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6).

If you feel Manasseh got off too easy, your wrong. Jesus died for the sins of the world, that includes the sins of the Old Testament saints.

1 John 2:2 And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

I believe we will see Manasseh in Heaven worshiping around the throne of God.

What’s the point?

  1. You are never too far gone for the grace of God. There is no one who has more sin than God has grace. Romans 5:20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.

This is for anyone who has done anything. All find grace at the cross of Jesus. If you humble yourself like Manasseh, you will find mercy. If you ask the Lord for forgiveness of your sins, turn from your life of sin (repent), and ask Jesus to be your Savior, God is merciful and will receive you as His own.

2. Christian, don’t stop praying for those who have rejected God’s offer of salvation. You may have a child, friend, or neighbor who you think is too far gone. You never know who God is reaching out to, or who he is about to humble. Keep praying and keep offering God’s salvation through Jesus Christ to all.

3.Christian, your Manasseh. You may have never sawed a prophet in half or started a cult, but you are a sinner just like he was. You broke God’s commandments and you needed His mercy and grace. When we forget that, we start deciding who deserves grace and who doesn’t. If you felt God was too easy on Manasseh, was he too easy on you?

How do I describe God when asked? Where do I see His power and majesty on display the most? Is it the mountains, oceans, animals, or storms? No, for me it’s His mercy and Grace I proclaim. His wonderful attributes I adore.

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