The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. (Why does that sound familiar?! I could easily insert my own name, or as a mother of 6, probably a few others as well if I’m doing the speaking!) 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. (Chastisements of any kind, hook or no hook are never comfortable right!) In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God (Why is it we so often wait until we are in distress before we seek Him?! Why couldn’t we have paid attention when He spoke the first time?!?!) 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. (How great is the mercy and grace of our God!!! This Manasseh, Scripture says, wasn’t a nice dude. He did much evil, he even sacrificed his sons in fire! Yet when Manasseh humbled himself and asked forgiveness he got it. “There is no pit of sin that God’s grace is not deeper still.” There is now no sin the sacrificial blood of Jesus cannot cover completely!!) Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God. (Scripture says, THEN he knew… how often is it that “what we are praying so hard for Him to change is the very thing He is using to change us”!!) 2 Chronicles 33:10-13
Notice that it was when Manasseh chose to humble himself before God that he was restored. I wonder if this was not an answer to a prayer spoken long ago by Solomon recorded in 2 Chronicles 6? Verses 36-39 When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly’;and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name; then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you. WOW! Our God is so awesome! He not only knows the number of your hairs, has each of your tears in a bottle, but He remembers EVERY prayer!!
Jesus grant me a humble heart and help me to persevere in prayer, for You are always working out Your Kingdom plan. You are merciful, gracious, compassionate and faithful… always faithful. Praise You Jesus!
Independent read: Isaiah 66:2, 57:15