Manasseh was Hezekiah’s son and he became king when he was only twelve years old. He was the very first king to have no experience with the northern kingdom of Israel as they had just been wiped out and scattered by the Assyrians.
Manasseh chose to not honor God with his life, and chose instead to rebuild all of the places of worship to false gods that his father had destroyed. Manasseh wanted to do things his way, not God’s way.
Manasseh worshipped the stars and built altars in God’s temple to the stars. He would look up at the same inky black night bejeweled in distant, sparkling white that Abraham had looked at. But rather than marvel at the Maker of those stars, rather than stand in awe of God’s power and His promises King Manasseh would worship them.
Manasseh also offered his own children to be sacrificed on altars and he practiced witchcraft and led his people into many evils. He was the king of God’s chosen people and yet the evils that Manasseh led the people into were far greater than the evils of the nation’s God had wiped out before bringing the Israelites into the land.
God spoke to Manasseh and the people, but they didn’t care. They liked their evil ways and wanted to continue in them. So God allowed King Manasseh to be taken prisoner by the Assyrians. They came and captured him. They put bronze shackles around him and a hook through his nose and led him back to Babylon.
King Manasseh was in great distress and he called out to the Lord in humbleness. God was moved by his brokenness and brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and his kingdom.
Manasseh then knew that the Lord was God and he changed the very course of his life. Instead of building idols and altars, he tore them down and threw them out. He restored the altar of the Lord and encouraged the people to worship Him.
He had been a man intent on evil, but the compassion of God changed him and made him a completely different man. He had been the most evil king in the land, and yet he came to realize the greatness of God and submitted himself to God’s authority – isn’t that amazing that one so evil could be changed so drastically?
When King Manasseh died he was buried in his palace garden.