Hezekiah had represented a great height of integrity and devotion to God from the throne in the southern kingdom of Judah. It is strange, then, that his son who succeeded him, would be such a complete contrast.
The twenty-first chapter of 2 Kings, however, depicts Manasseh, a king so wicked that he had no issue placing idol worship in the temple of the Lord and restoring things his father had abolished. He had no compunction seeing his son sacrificed to flames for the sake of his idolatry. The evil he promoted took the people of Judah to the point of judgment from the Almighty. When God condemns you it is a clear sign you have significantly missed the mark where He is concerned.
The judgment God decreed on the kingdom was not on a whim. He had seen time and again how His people continually rebelled against God. The agreement was straight forward, they could continue to have their Redeemer as their Lord as long as they remained faithful to Him. Their flagrant neglect of that condition, their refusal to listen and obey incurred the necessary consequences.
God goes to a no-holds barred approach. Talk of wiping Judah and Jerusalem like someone wiped a dish highlights just what He will do when evil rears its ugly head. When covenant relationship is broken by the weaker party, God will not allow this to go without dealing with it severely. It is a matter of righteousness.
Despite this, things don’t get any better with Manasseh’s successor, Amon. There is enough said in his very brief reign to see him following in his father’s footsteps. Reinforcing the evil of his Dad raised the stink of iniquity all the more, understandably arousing the anger of God.
This goes to show that fatherhood – good or bad – can influence those who come afterwards. Whether that influence sees acceptance of evil as was the case with Amon, or rejecting it completely, as Manasseh. Having the influence of a father figure should be an indicator to the original Father so that all will be well as long as we remain faithful to Him.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden