King Manasseh became King of Israel when he was 12 years old. He was a wicked king; he was a mass murderer, he sacrificed two of his sons to the non-existent god Molech and he worshipped everything but the True God. Manasseh led his people, the nation of Israel, astray. It says in II Chronicles 33:10-13: "The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 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 entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God."
In verse 11, it says “So the Lord…” So the Lord set a plan in motion to bring Manasseh back to Him. Having an army come against you, getting a hook put in your nose, being led off captive to a Babylonian jail doesn’t seem like a positive experience. God never intended it to be a positive experience. He intended it to be the beginning of a process to bring Manasseh back to the Lord.
I spoke on this recently. A woman spoke to me after the service and told me this, “I have been angry with God for things He brought into my life, but now I realize these things were the very things that drove me to my knees and brought me to the Lord.”
We need to be careful when we call certain things in our lives a blessing or a curse. What is often called a blessing can be a curse. We need to be careful for what we ask.
The trial you and I are in right now may be painful and unpleasant. We can’t see the future but a loving God will do what He must to bring us back to Him. Remember, God disciplines, those He loves.
Be careful when we have the desire to play mini-god. When we do, we attempt to assume God’s role in our life and the life of others. It is dangerous ground; stay away from doing it. Offer advice with wisdom. Encourage, forgive and love our fellowman but forget about being a mini-god making pronouncements we were never intended to make.
Manasseh finds himself in prison. It says in verse 12 “In his distress.” In his distress he seeks out the Lord, humbles himself, and prays to God and guess what? God was moved! Yes, the mass murderer, two-time baby killer, star worshipping heathen finds that the Lord’s heart was moved. Manasseh finds mercy. So will we if we but seek God, humble ourselves, and pray. The Lord is merciful and good…There is no need for us to play mini-god.