Manasseh—The Baby Killer
"Hezekiah generated Manasseh, and Manasseh generated Amon… "
Fathers who murder their sons deserve the death penalty, and Manasseh, the son of good King Hezekiah, deserved death.
2 Chronicles declares that as a twelve-year-old king, Manasseh turned away from the faith of his father. He brought back the outlawed male and female goddesses of the surrounding nations. He consulted mediums and worshiped the stars. Then he did far worse. He sacrificed his own children in the fires he kindled for this purpose in the valley close to his palace.
In response to these evils, God allowed the commanders of the Assyrian armies to attack Jerusalem, take Manasseh prisoner, and with a hook in his nose take him away to Babylon. At this point in the story Manasseh, the child-killer, got what he deserved. But then 2 Chronicles puts in a twist.
"In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to Him, the Lord was moved by his pleas for grace. The Lord brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom." 2 Chronicles 33:12-13
Like the questions raised by God's failure to execute the death penalty against King David when he committed adultery and murder, how could God show mercy to Manasseh?
The Old Testament tells us many stories where ruthless killers like Pharaoh, Goliath, and Ahab and Jezebel pay for their murders with their blood, but how did the righteous Judge of all the earth bring Manasseh home to Jerusalem when the text tells us he sinned worse than them all?
This question drives us forward in the redemptive story of the Bible to the baby born in Bethlehem, the baby who would be the Lamb of God who would die for the sins of the world, including Manasseh's. And that's why Matthew includes Manasseh in the genealogy of Jesus as he proves that Jesus is the legitimate Son of David, the King who will save His people from their sins.
LORD, thank you that you are a God of justice who demands a life for a life. If Manasseh can be forgiven based on Jesus’ death, then so can those who commit murder but then repent.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!