SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Manasseh becomes king, and reigns for 55 years, the longest reign of any of the kings of Judah.
- Sorcery, and consulting mediums or psychics, is forbidden by God in the Bible. They seek to do things or know things using powers outside of God and His power and will.
- Manasseh starts his reign in about the most ungodly way imaginable, but later suffering leads him to turn from his evil ways and to turn to God.
- In verses 18 and 19 we learn of two other history books that were kept at the time of Manasseh, and that included a record of his reign.
- When Manasseh dies, his son Amon takes over, doing evil during his short reign.
- We have seen many evil kings, but Manasseh was probably about the most evil of all. God warned him, but Manasseh ignored God (verse 10). Yet when Manasseh realized his sin and repented, God forgave him. If God can forgive Manasseh, he can forgive anyone.
- Manasseh was forgiven for his sin, but we still see a consequence in that the people continued to sacrifice at the pagan shrines (verse 17). When God forgives, it erases the sin off our records and we escape the eternal penalty, but it doesn't necessarily erase the consequences of our sin. For instance, someone may be an alcoholic for years and do all kinds of damage through his drinking. When he repents, he is forgiven of his sin, but that doesn't erase the impact the drinking has made on his liver, or the bitterness his kids might have for the things he's done.
- Do you ever feel like God couldn't forgive some sin of yours, because it was just too bad? Or is there another person, or type of person, who you think is beyond God's forgiveness? How does reading about Manasseh help you to see that God can forgive any sin? How should it change your life to know that?
- Can you think of a way in which you've been forgiven, so the penalty of your sin was erased, but you're still experiencing the consequences of what you did? How does the make you not want to sin in the future?