Second Chances

A Fresh Start

We read a fantastic story in the Old Testament of a king who went on a campaign to go against God. God indirectly compares him with king Ahab. His reign was characterized by doing the wrong thing and leading the nation into idolatry and away from God. Is there hope for such a person with such a great influence?


Read 2 Chronicles 33:1-18; 2 Kings 21:1-17
  1. What are the opening lines to Manasseh's life and reign?
    • He was a young king.
    • He reigned for 55 years.
    • He did evil in God's sight.
    • He brought idolatry back to the people of Israel.
    • Other.
  2. Read about King Hezekiah, Manasseh's father, in 2 Kings, chapters 18 through 20 for background.
  3. List the idolatrous things Manasseh brought back or did.
    • He rebuilt "high places."
    • Erected altars to the Baal
    • He made Asheroth (carved images).
    • They worshipped the heavenly bodies (stars and planets).
    • Other.
  4. How did Judah do under Manasseh's leadership?
    • Manasseh led them astray
    • They did more evil than the evil nations.
    • God's word was absent during this time.
    • Other.
  5. What was God's message to Manasseh and the rest of the nation?
    • Such a disaster will come upon Judah and Jerusalem to make the other nations shake.
    • God will judge him with the same measuring stick used against God's enemies.
    • God will give up the inheritance offered to them.
    • They will be a prey and spoil to all their enemies.
  6. What happened as a result of their indifference?
    • The Assyrian army invaded them.
    • Manasseh was captured and taken to Babylon.
    • Manasseh was stripped of his leadership.
    • Other.
  7. Describe Manasseh's turnaround while in captivity.
    • Manasseh was in distress, which led him to pray to God.
    • Manasseh's pride was shattered, and he humbled himself before God.
    • God brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem.
    • Manasseh made reforms to get rid of idolatry in Jerusalem. 
    • Other.


After reading such an incredible story, you can probably see some of yourself in it. You may not be as bold and evil as Manasseh, but there's a mindset behind Manasseh's way of life. Why would he take such an oppositional platform to rule? Why not follow in his father's footsteps? Had he not read or heard of other kings who were evil too? We don't know Manasseh's childhood, but we can calculate that he was born during those 15 extra years God gave to Hezekiah. What did Manasseh see during this time? Was he angry at God for specifically giving his dad a 15-year timetable and that he would live most of his life without a father? These are all hypothetical questions.
What faith did Hezekiah pass on to his son? Living in a "religious" home doesn't mean that Manasseh's faith was in Jehovah. Manasseh had some form of religion that he liked, and it didn't seem like the one his father and ancestors believed. At some point, our faith needs to be just that - OUR faith. The faith of our fathers is to inspire or at least consider something worth trying. We know their faults and shortcomings, but what about the God they serve(d)? At the same time, if we have followed in the positive spiritual footprints of our parents, shall we stop at where they have reached or go beyond?

Manasseh's story demonstrates that there are no lost causes for God. It would seem like Manasseh had just gone too far. Manasseh's sins are terrible. Nevertheless, we have God's grace reaching Manasseh and restoring him. We see God not giving up on Manasseh and his people. God sent messengers, warnings, and eventually an army to get their attention. All this to save them from their destruction.

This story gives us all hope and reminds us that we don't need to wait for a crisis to turn around. God tries to save us before we destroy ourselves.

1. How is God speaking to you through this story today?


How do you turn this story into a sharing opportunity? What did Manasseh do when his back was against the wall and in distress? He humbled himself. That means he understood that he was powerless to change his situation and was willing to surrender to God. He prayed, and God heard his plea. How can the request of an evil king move God? It comes to show that even Manasseh can move God's heart to action.

Most people in this world do not have the power to enact evil policies like Manasseh. But even if there are, there is hope for even that person. Manasseh was a murderer, idolater, a wolf in sheep's clothing, a heretic, and child abuser, among many other things. What he had in his favor was that he remembered God.

If God can save Manasseh, he can save you too.

Scripture Memorization


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