Day 12: Fearlessly Forward with hope - 16 November 2017

Benescke Janse van Rensburg

It was a dark time in the history of Israel. Manasseh was the king. Where his father, Hezekiah broke down all the idols in the land, he built it up again. Where Hezekiah called the people to turn back to God, his son chose to worship the sun, moon and stars. He offered up his son as a sacrifice to the idols! Manasseh furthermore practiced sorcery and divination. He consulted with mediums and psychics and even placed a carved idol in God’s Temple – the place where the priests once experienced God’s presense to such an extent that they could not stay standing. In 2 Kings 21:6 we read that Manasseh did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing His anger.

Several prophets warned Manasseh to turn from his wicked ways, but he refused. The result of this, was that the king of Assyria's army captured him. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon.

In the prison cell in Babylon, Manasseh was alone. He was humiliated, removed from his royal power and comfort with no prospect of ever being released again. When we read the story, it almost feels as if he got what he deserved. He did not want to listen!

Then there is a turning point. In the prison, stripped from everything, Manasseh kneeled for the first time in front of the true God. In 2 Chronicles 33:12-13 we read:  But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.  And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!”

Also in Psalm 86:15 the Psalmist writes: "But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” God is a righteous, but also a gracious God. When we repent with true humility, He forgives us. The question is whether we show the same mercy and forgiveness towards people that did us wrong?

Manasseh truly turned back to God and he experienced grace and hope. Whether you need this forgiveness or perhaps you need to forgive someone who has sinned against you, speak to God about it. He is a merciful and gracious God. He forgives, but also wants to enable you to forgive so you can also live a life of freedom and hope. God bless.

Father God, thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. Please forgive me for (name specific thing). Also help me to forgive others as You forgive me. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • Feedback: What fears have a hold on you? What do you want to read? Let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I would like to hear from you. Benescke
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