Have you ever done something so bad, that you felt as though God could not forgive you? You felt weighed down in guilt and remorse? Perhaps you are currently in this condition; if so, I want you to know that God has not abandoned you. In fact, He specializes in forgiveness and reconciliation. If ever you are caught in this maze of guilt, just remember the story of wicked king Manasseh.
Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh was only 12 years old when he became king. The Bible says that he reigned fifty five years (697-642BC) in Jerusalem (see 2 Chron. 33:1).
He was an exceedingly wicked king who re-established the high places and erected an altar to the worship of Baal; made a cult object to Asherah; worshiped many other gods in the temple courts and even went as far as to sacrifice his own sons by fire in the valley of Hinnom (vs. 6). Manasseh consulted sign readers, fortune-tellers, and sorcerers, and used mediums and diviners. He was so successful in his campaign for evil that the Bible says, “he seduced them (Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem) to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the Children of Israel” (vs. 9).
The Lord Himself declared concerning Manasseh, that he had shed very much innocent blood, “till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another” (2 Kings 21:16).
“And the Lord spoke to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken (vs. 10).”
Manasseh’s refusal to repent of his sins brought upon him and his people the wrath and judgment of God. 2 Chronicles 33:11 says that the captain of the host of the king of Assyria placed Manasseh in chains and fetters and carried him off to Babylon as their prisoner.
Now, after reading his story, so far, our human tendency would be to say, “Serves him right! I hope he gets what he deserves!” But the Bible says that while Manasseh was in affliction, “he besought (urgently implored) the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed unto Him (vss. 12 & 13).”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 3:9 says the Lord “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Did God hear the prayers of that wicked king? After he committed such atrocities and abominations? You bet He did! 2 Chronicles 33:13 says, “He was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom.”
Wow! How could God forgive such wickedness? How could he reinstate such a wicked king after such flagrant violations of His laws? But the Bible says that God forgave him.
So what about you? Are you feeling guilty for sins you have committed that you think are too great for God to pardon? Have you done something so terribly wrong and so disgusting that you feel not even God can forgive you? Remember Manasseh. Remember how far he fell into sin. Remember that while in the dungeons of despair, he cried out to the Lord and the Lord heard and forgave him. Not only forgave him, but reinstated him to his throne. Remember, it is Satan’s prime objective to hurl accusations against you; to keep you wallowing in your sins so that you never go to the Lord for forgiveness and ultimately become lost in your sins. He is called “the accuser of our brethren (Rev. 12:10).”
Let us be doubly reminded that God is mighty to save. That is what He came to do (John 3:16). “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7
Are you feeling so guilty, that you think God has forsaken you? Why don’t you go to Him right now? He is waiting.
Ezekiel 18, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 85:2; 86:5; 103:2-4; Jeremiah 33:8; Daniel 9:9; Micah 7:18; Matthew 6:13-15; 18:21,22; Luke 23:33-35; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 1:13,14; James 5:15,16; 1 John 1:9