However much we like to talk about objectivity, about viewing things as they really are, as human beings we are hopelessly subjective. We see the world, not so much as the world really is but as we really are. And because we are fallen and corrupted beings, this corruption is going to impact our perceptions and interpretation of the world around us. How else, for instance, can we explain someone like King Manasseh of Judah (about 686–643 b.c.), especially those early years of his terrible apostasy? One can hardly imagine how he justified in his own mind the horrific abominations he allowed to flourish in Judah.
Read 2 Chronicles 33. What does this story tell us about just how corrupt a king Manasseh was? More important, what does this teach us about the willingness of God to forgive?
No question, being hauled off to Babylon with nose hooks and bronze fetters was certain to get a man to rethink his life. Nevertheless, the text is clear: Manasseh truly repented of his ways and, when restored to the throne, sought to repair the damage that he had done. Unfortunately, the damage was greater than he might have imagined.
“But this repentance, remarkable though it was, came too late to save the kingdom from the corrupting influence of years of idolatrous practices. Many had stumbled and fallen, never again to rise.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 383. And, even more unfortunate, among those who had been terribly impacted by Manasseh’s apostasy was his son, Amon, who took the throne after his father died and who “did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done; for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and served them” (2 Chron. 33:22, NKJV). Worse, unlike his father, Amon never repented of his ways.
Who doesn’t know personally the terrible consequences that can come even from sin that has been forgiven? What promises can you claim for the victory over sin? Why not claim them now before the sin brings its doleful consequences?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 8 – Josiah’s Reforms