'Appreciating God's Love'
Manasseh Defiled Temple of God
2 Chr 33:1-2,4-5 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he 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... He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, "In Jerusalem shall My name be forever." And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord."
During the reign of his godly father King Hezekiah, Manasseh witnessed the annihilation of the neighbouring idolatrous Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians yet he followed their foot steps into idolatry.
All the wicked kings only set up high places and placed their images and idols for the people to worship, but King Manasseh committed the worst sin imaginable by defiling the temple of God when he placed idols in His holy temple.
Manasseh had made the temple of God so foul, revolting and nauseating with those abominable idols that it was impossible for Him to dwell there anymore. God's love for His people far exceed those torturous and foul conditions that He would still care and protect them.
2 Chr 33:6,9-10 Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger... So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.
2 Chr 33:10 And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.
Even though all those in Judah witnessed the destruction of the kingdom of Israel because of idolatry, yet they blindly followed King Manasseh into idolatry and damnation.
Punishment of Manasseh
2 Chr 33:11-13 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
It was sad that God had to fight against His own people, and sent Manasseh and Judah into slavery. It was only in his sorrows, pains and afflictions, that Manasseh had to look to God for deliverance.
Manasseh humbled himself greatly before the Lord by confessing his disobedience, weaknesses, sins and abominations. With his sincere repentance, God forgave him of all his abominations, which had caused his people to idolatry and damnation.
After God had forgiven Manasseh and restored him of his kingship, he then realized that the Lord was God - the Father of love, mercy, long-suffering and compassion. He is also the Almighty God, and that to Him all things are possible.
After his repentance, he removed idolatry from all the land and led his people back to serve the Lord and thus their salvation.
2 Chr 33:15-16 He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. He also repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.
Wrath upon Idolatrous Judah
Jer 15:1-4 Then the Lord said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth. And it shall be, if they say to you, 'Where should we go?' then you shall tell them, 'Thus says the Lord: "Such as are for death, to death; And such as are for the sword, to the sword; And such as are for the famine, to the famine; And such as are for the captivity, to the captivity." '"And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction, " says the Lord: "the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem."
Because of the abominations of King Manasseh, God told them that His wrath would be upon the Southern Kingdom of Judah - the annihilation of both Jerusalem and Judah with the people killed or taken into slavery.
Since King Manasseh repented of his abominations, cleansed the land of idolatry, repaired the temple and reinstituted the priesthood to serve the Almighty God, His wrath was not poured upon Judah during the reign of Manasseh.
Note: our loving God is always merciful. To avoid His chastisement, your sincere repentance will see His forgiveness.
Fall of Jerusalem and Judah
2 Chr 36:14-15 And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.
Not only were the kings wicked but also the priests. Though God's compassion was for his people, their abominations were beyond remedy, thus the annihilation of Jerusalem and Judah.
2 Chr 36:19-20 Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia.