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Manasseh - the bad king

2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33
King Manasseh was an evil ruler but he repented and found God's forgiveness.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
1
Manasseh was only 12 years old when he became King of Judah. – Slide 1
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Right from the start he was bad. He began his reign by setting up altars and buildings to honour false gods. – Slide 2
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He built altars to Baal so people could worship this false god instead of the One True God. – Slide 3
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And he set up wooden poles and altars so the Israelites could worship a goddess called Asherah. – Slide 4
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He even had altars to false gods set up in the Temple of God in Jerusalem. This was rude and insulting to the One True God. – Slide 5
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But Manasseh didn’t care and continued to do more bad things. He built altars to worship the stars. Instead of worshipping the God who made the stars the Israelites worshipped the things God had made. – Slide 6
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Even worse, when Manasseh became the father of a baby boy, he offered his son up to a false god. It was a very wicked thing to do. – Slide 7
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Instead of asking God for advice, wicked Manasseh asked evil people involved in the occult what to do. – Slide 8
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God still loved Manasseh and the people of Israel but He could not allow this wickedness to carry on. – Slide 9
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God sent prophets to warn King Manasseh that unless he changed his ways then God would have to punish him and the nation very severely. – Slide 10
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‘You have done many wicked things,’ said the prophets. ‘You have led the nation into sin and the people of Judah are more wicked than the nations around them. – Slide 11
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‘Now, because you have been so wicked, I am going to bring such judgement it will make your ears tingle when you hear about it.’ – Slide 12
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‘I am going to wipe Jerusalem clean of its sin, like someone who washes a plate and turns it upside down.’ – Slide 13
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Sure enough, a few years later, the King of Assyria marched up to Jerusalem and conquered it. – Slide 14
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The Assyrians captured Manasseh and put him in chains. They put a ring in his nose and led him to Babylon as a prisoner. Here is a picture from a museum showing an Assyrian king hooking prisoners by their noses. – Slide 15
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Poor Manasseh. Now he had lost everything. His money, his wealthy life, his servants, his fancy clothes, his palace – everything. He was now a prisoner. – Slide 16
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After being in prison for many years, Manasseh realized how bad and foolish he had been. He began to cry in sorrow for his disobedience. He knelt down in his prison cell and said sorry to God. – Slide 17
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Manasseh had wasted 50 years of his life being a bad king. Do you think God could ever forgive him? Could God still love him after all the wicked things he had done? – Slide 18
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Yes! God looked into Manasseh’s heart and saw the king was truly sorry. Then suddenly the King of Assyria released Manasseh from prison and let him return to Jerusalem as king. – Slide 19
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Manasseh went back to his palace, his servants and wealth – but this time he was a different kind of king. – Slide 20
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He started building a new life. He repaired walls, restored buildings, mended streets and rebuilt the city. – Slide 21
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But most important of all – he did something about those false gods. He pulled down their shines, temples and statues and dumped them outside the city as a heap of rubbish. – Slide 22
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He then repaired the altar to the One True God in the Temple and made offerings to Him. – Slide 23
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Now Manasseh was acting like a good King. His leadership was helping others to do what was right too. Jerusalem once again was a city that honoured the One True God. – Slide 24
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If you were given the power to rule over others, would you be like Manasseh before he went to prison, or like Manasseh after he came home again? – Slide 25
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Slide 26