When I was reading today, there were two verses out of the six pages of Scripture that caught my attention. Here they are: 2 Chronicles 33:12-13 (NIV) 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 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.
We know from our earlier reading that King Manasseh was a wicked man. He led God’s people in the opposite direction from where they were supposed to go. He did all kinds of things that he was not supposed to do. Because of his leadership, a whole nation was overthrown and taken captive by enemy troops. This guy had a horrible track record. When a person has lived his or her life like Manasseh did, more often than not they never change. They end up dying in their disobedience and wickedness.
But in these two verses we see the exception to what seems to be the rule. Here is Manasseh in a foreign land, shamed, defeated, and actually getting what he deserved. Somehow in his distress he decided to turn his face to the one he had shunned for so many years. Why he thought God would give him the time of day I don’t know. The Bible says that when Manasseh repented and poured his heart out to God, the Lord was moved by his prayer and He listened to his plea. Not only did God listen to his plea, he brought him back to Jerusalem and gave him another chance to lead the people in the His ways.
Starting with a humble prayer from a wicked, broken man, a defeated nation who had turned their backs on God turned their hearts back to God and began to enjoy His smile again. I won’t start preaching here but I would like us to take something very important from this passage. It doesn’t matter how far from God you may be. It doesn’t matter how long you have been there. When we humble our hearts toward God and come to Him in genuine repentance, He gives us another chance to serve Him. The Bible tells us that the prayer of a righteous man avails much. Now you know that God’s mercy in hearing our prayers is not limited to only those who are doing things right.
The bottom line is that whoever humbles their heart and comes in genuine repentance before God Almighty, God will be moved and will listen to them. Cross references: