Consequences of Sin

12 July 2020 PM – 2Chr. 33:1-20; 2Ki 21:1-18 – Kings20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The laws of sowing and reaping are 1) you will reap WHAT you sow, 2) you will reap AFTER you sow, 3) you will reap MORE than you sow. This evening we are going to see how true those laws were in the life of King Manasseh.
Transition: As we examine three stages of Manasseh’s life, we must take heed and make applications for our own lives.
  1. Manasseh’s Corruption (v.1-10) C. 693-676, 19 yrs
a.         His beginning
1)         He was the son of good king Hezekiah and his wife Hephzibah. It is likely that his mother was a godly woman.
2)         His father died when he was just 12 years old and he being crowned king quickly became very evil.
3)         One commentator gives us food for thought saying, “His father’s death, therefore, having thrown him into the hands of the heathen party at a tender and susceptible age, he was quickly perverted from the right way of the Lord. Even the example, teaching, and prayers of his mother, Hephzibah (2 Kings 21:1), traditionally reported to have been Isaiah’s daughter, were powerless to resist the corrupting influences of the statesmen and courtiers who surrounded him.” (Bishop Hall quoted by Bible Hub)
4)         This proposal is entirely possible and I prefer to believe it than to think that Hezekiah and Hephzibah had utterly failed in rearing their son. Children are easily swayed by influences around them. This is a reminder to parents to monitor the influences on your children carefully (e.g., TV, Internet, school, friends, music, and books).
5)         He reigned 55 years over Judah. That is longer than any other king. God’s first comment about Manasseh is not good. (Read v.2). He practiced the wicked abominations that the Canaanites had done whom God cast out of the land. God wants His children to be holy. (1 Peter 1:16) “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”  Separation from evil is for our protection. (2 Corinthians 6:17) “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
b.         The extent of his wickedness
1)         He rebuilt all of the evil things that his grandfather Ahaz had built and that his father Hezekiah had torn down.
2)         Read verses 3-9. His evils ranged from idolatry to human sacrifices, from every sort of witchcraft to leading the people of Jerusalem astray. (2 Kings 21:9) “But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.
3)         He killed MANY righteous people. (2 Kings 21:16) “Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
4)         Fausset’s Bible Dictionary records, “Tradition represents Manasseh as having sawed Isaiah in sunder for his faithful protest (Heb 11:37). Josephus (Ant. 10:3, sec. 1) says Manasseh slew all the righteous and the prophets day by day, so that Jerusalem flowed with blood, Isaiah (Isa 57:1-4, etc.) alludes also to the “mockings” of which the godly “had trial” (Heb 11:36).”
5)         The Lord spoke to him and to his people through His prophets, but they would not listen and obey (v.10). (Proverbs 12:15) “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
6)         For 19 years this young man who knew better, turned his back on the Lord in the most vile ways.
2.        Manasseh’s Captivity (v.11-13) B.C. 677, 1 yr.
a.         God’s chastening began.
1)         The Assyrian captains captured Manasseh and took him to Babylon. The phrase “among the thorns” refers to the practice of leading distinguished captives with a rope fastened to a hook or ring placed in his lip or nose. (Whedon)
2)         They bound him with brass fetters and made him walk to Babylon as their prisoner.
3)         According to Ussher’s Chronology, this took place in B.C. 677 and lasted about a year. If these dates are correct, Manasseh spent 19 years corrupting Judah, 1 year in captivity, and 35 years trying to correct his errors.
b.         Manasseh humbled himself.
1)         Like Jonah in the belly of the great fish, Manasseh had plenty of time to think back over his foolish life.
2)         While in his dungeon prison cell, Manasseh truly repented and turned to the Lord (v.12). Evidently, the biblical training of his early youth by his godly parents and the repeated admonitions from Isaiah and other prophets led his wicked heart to repentance. God mercifully caused the Assyrians to return him to Jerusalem.
3)         We must never underestimate the power of God’s Word in men’s hearts. (Jeremiah 23:29) “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Hebrews 4:12) “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
4)         We must memorise God’s word and help our children to memorise as much as of it as we possibly can.
3.        Manasseh’s Correction (v.14-20) B.C. 678-643, 35 yrs
a.         He tried to correct the errors he had made
1)         Upon returning to his throne, he fortified the city of Jerusalem and all the fenced cities of Judah (v.14). His time in prison put a dread and fear in his heart. He never wanted to endure that dreadful experience again.
2)         He then removed many of the idols he had erected in the Temple and in Jerusalem (v.15).
3)         He repaired God’s altar and offered sacrifices on it.
4)         He commanded his people to serve the Lord, but it appears that they did it mechanically and not from the heart (v.16-17).
b.         Too little, too late
1)         Though Manasseh changed his ways and began walking with the Lord, he had shed the blood of the most righteous people. A majority of those remaining were evil.
2)         His correction was too little and too late. His reformation and efforts to correct his evil influence made such a little impact on Judah that the book of Kings says nothing of Manasseh’s captivity nor of his repentance and reform. Much of the evil he did in his youth was beyond repair.
3)         Sadly, his son became an evil king (2Ki 21:20).
4)         A mother, trying to help her son grasp how sin spreads and how difficult it is to correct it, on a windy day took a feather pillow, ripped it open and told her son to go collect every feather that came out. He quickly saw that it was impossible. That is a vivid picture of our sin.
5)         The words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” might today be rendered, “A graham of prevention is worth a kilo of cure.” It is far easier to prevent sin than it is to repair it. God forgave Manasseh, but the evil he had done could not be undone.
6)         Because of all the evil caused by Manasseh, God could not withhold ultimate judgment on Judah. (2 Kings 23:26) “Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.” His sins were the straw that broke the camel’s back. (2 Kings 24:3) “Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;
Conclusion: Oh that we might learn from the life of Manasseh! Remember the laws of sowing and reaping. You will reap what you sow, after you sow, and more than you sow. Stay close to God and do right! Wisely shelter your children from the evil influences of society. When you sin, wisely repent and change your ways. Seek to repair your sin’s damage.
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337