Manasseh, the king of Judah and son of the righteous king Hezekiah, must have had some type of “daddy issues.” In spite of him witnessing how his father’s righteousness had made Judah become the most prosperous it had ever been, including technological advances (2 Kings 20:20), Manasseh rebelled against everything his father did and reversed all of Hezekiah’s just policies (2 Kings 21:2-3; 2 Chronicles 33:2-3).
Whereas Hezekiah had wholeheartedly worshiped Jehovah, the true and living God, Manasseh decided to wholeheartedly worship devils and promoted occultism all over Judah. Among his evil deeds were:
■ Pagan shrines to Baal and Ashtaroth (Asherah, promiscuous sex goddess who “Easter” is named after) everywhere.
■ Worship of the sun, moon, and stars (2 Chronicles 33:3, 5), i.e. astrology.
■ Human sacrifices, including murdering his own kids (2 Chronicles 33:6).
■ Casting witchcraft curses and spells (sorcery)–practices that include the use of mind-altering drugs to manipulate or harm people.
■ Consulting witches, mediums, warlocks, and wizards.
■ Conjuring up familiar spirits (spirit guides), better known as devils.
■ Setting up idol worship in God’s temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 33:7).
Manasseh was so evil, the Bible says he was worse than all the pagans around him. With his occultic practices came the normalization of murder, as is the case throughout history. So much murder was carried out by his administration that the Bible says Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with the blood of innocent people. It was enough bloodshed to make today’s Chicago blush.
In the midst of it, God gave the people the opportunity to change all their wicked ways by sending prophets to rebuke and implore them. When Manasseh refused to listen, the Lord took matters into his own hands and had the Assyrians take him captive in a war, exiling him to Babylon.
Then an amazing thing happened. Manasseh was brought so low, he repented to God, confessed his sins, and cried out for forgiveness. A bad boy, callous and evil beyond belief, actually changed. His transformation must have been genuine because God gave him a second chance. Manasseh was given favor in the eyes of his Babylonian captors and sent back to Jerusalem.
Upon arrival, Manasseh went beyond just lending lip service to God. He went above and beyond to reverse and make reparations for every evil thing he did (2 Chronicles 33: 13-16). Manasseh became an example of how the Lord can turn bad boys into good ones. His example also shows how vast God’s grace is and how we can tell a person is genuinely sorry for their wrongs. Those who are genuine always go the extra mile with actions that directly correspond to righting their wrongs. Praise God for all the bad boys or girls gone good.