I never cease to marvel at the grace and goodness of God! Individuals that we tend to think of as incredibly evil and unworthy of God’s forgiveness, are granted it by God. In fact there is one story in Scripture that always leaves me with my mouth open in wonder and shaking my head with incredulity because of God’s grace… It is he story of a very wicked person – Manasseh, king of Judah. Here’s what the Bible has to say about Manasseh’s reign…
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. [Can you imagine that? The evil reign of a leader like Manasseh for 55 years!] And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and he erected altars to the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them… And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD… Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel. The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the LORD brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon.
And then the Bible records this: “When Manasseh was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God… He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside of the city. He also restored the altar of the LORD and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and he commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel.” (from 2 Chronicles 33:1-16 ESV)
Listen, I don’t know who you may think is just too evil for the Lord to reach, forgive and transform! But if that’s the case, I’d like to correct your thinking! If God could get through to Manasseh, forgive him, and change his life, he can get through to anyone! … That’s right, I said, “ANYONE!” In fact, Apostle Paul put it this way: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more!” (Romans 5:20) So keep praying for evil people! Keep believing for their salvation! There are more stories than just Mannasseh’s to tell… Many of them recent accounts of God’s marvelous grace… One of them just may be yours!