“Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Luke 7:47 NKJV
Have you heard the expression “the bigger they are the harder they fall”? Well, to me that’s basically what Jesus was saying when he addressed his disciples. The farther we get from God in our rebellion, the more we are forgiven when we repent and the more love is expressed over being forgiven.
2 Chronicles 33 tells us of King Manasseh who became king at age 12 and reigned in
Jerusalem for 55 years. This king did evil in the sight of the Lord. Let’s look briefly at his life and his turn around.
- He built the high places, his father Hezekiah had broken down.
- He raised up altars to Baals.
- He made wooden images to other gods.
- He worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
- He also built altars to other gods in the house of the Lord.
- He built altars for other gods in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
- He burned his children in the fire to offer to other gods.
- He practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery and consulted with mediums and spirits.
He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke the Lord’s anger. Verse 10 tells us “The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen.” When our hearts are full of evil, we harden them against the Lord, as was the case with Manasseh. So Lord caused Manasseh to be captured by Assyria and bound with bronze fetters and taken away to Babylon. There’s much that could be taught on the “bronze fetters” but we’ll save that for another time. Just know that bronze signified redemption. Think about that.
Okay we’ve seen Manasseh’s evil works and we’ve seen how God dealt with him. In verse 12 it says “Now when he [Manasseh] was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers”. Isn’t it funny how affliction drives us to God? Why do we have to wait until things are so out of control?
Verse 13 continues “and prayed to Him; and he received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem in his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” God knows exactly what we need to experience in order for us “to know the Lord is God”. It was only after Manasseh was in such dire circumstance where everything was outside of his control that he finally realized who God was.
Here’s the best part – his turn around. Verses 14 through 17 describe all the good Manasseh did after he turned back to the Lord.
- He built a wall outside the City of David (fortifying the city).
- He enclosed Ophhel and raised it to a great height (more fortifying)
- He posted military captains in the fortified cities of Judah.
- He took away foreign gods and idol from the house of the Lord.
- He removed all the altars he had built and cast them out of the city.
- He repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it.
- He commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel.
As you can see from Manasseh’s life, true repentance brings forth godly actions. Manasseh did much evil prior to receiving the Lord in his life. But after he “knew the Lord was God” he went on to do much good.
There’s something about finally seeing how evil you were. Once the Lord opens your eyes it causes us to want to “make up” for all the bad. Now, we realize we can never earn our way to salvation, but once we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, our hearts now long to do what is right in the sight of the Lord. It seems from the many examples we have in the Bible, that the more evil done before tends to cause more good to happen after receiving the Lord. Does that make sense?
Like Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Even our own evil deeds work out for good because they were used to draw us to salvation in Jesus Christ.
What about you? What evil do you do prior to “knowing the Lord was God? What good are you now doing as a result of receiving Jesus Christ into your life?
Lord God Almighty, thank you for knowing exactly what we need to come to knowledge You are God. Thank you for using even the evil we have done to turn us around in repentance. Thank you for forgiving us our sins and leading us in the path of life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.