- 2 Kings 20:21b; 21:1-9, 16, 10-15
When Hezekiah died, his son Manasseh became king at the young age of 12. Hezekiah had walked closely with GOD and done tremendous good in leading Judah back from idolatry. Sadly, all the good that he did was undone by his son Manasseh. Manasseh reigned 55 years in Judah, and he did tremendous amounts of evil in the eyes of GOD. He was the worst king. Consider what GOD says of him:
2 And [Manasseh] did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 7 He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; 8 and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers—only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.
10 And the LORD spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), 12 therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies, 15 because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’”
16 Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD.
(2 Kings 21:2-16 NKJV)
What a terrible tragedy, especially on the heels of Hezekiah’s restoration efforts. Parents, this is a very important lesson for us: Just because we are committed to GOD doesn’t mean our children are. We’ve got to lead them into developing a strong faith and love for GOD of their own. Children, don’t be like Manasseh. Such a terrible tragedy. You never know the extent of your bad decisions, just as Manasseh didn’t at the time. Trust GOD and allow His word to direct your steps.