Yet, when he called on the Lord, humbled himself, and prayed, God was moved with mercy and compassion and freed him from captivity. Brought him back to Jerusalem, and allowed him to reign, and to demonstrate his repentance by tearing down all the idols he’d built.
God didn’t refuse to forgive because Manasseh had only turned to Him in his desperation.
God didn’t insist that Manasseh tear down the idols before He would set him free.
God didn’t bargain with Manasseh or demand that once he was free, he had to turn over a new leaf and live differently.
Manasseh was just like each of us - he went his own way, worshipped what he thought was best in the moment, and ended up in a terrible mess as a result. He cried out to God in desperation, as a last resort, and God saved him. In recognition that there is no god but our God, and in gratitude for the immense debt of sin that he’d been forgiven, Manasseh sought to live differently.
He’d been changed by his encounter with the God who created the universe.
He no longer worshipped the stars, but the One who set the stars in place.
He no longer bowed to idols, but to the will of God.
So, God rescued each of us. He shows us the idols we’ve bowed down to, and in gratitude for His grace, we tear them down, one by one. Some topple easily; others require prayer, perhaps even help from brothers and sisters to break them to pieces and cart them off.
I’ve had help, over the years from close friends and members of my small group who’ve prayed with me and for me as I continue the work of tearing down idols I’ve built. Some idols seem more like weeds—you can cut off the top, but if you don’t get at the root, they just spread and pop up where you least expect them.
How about you? Who helps you destroy idols God has pointed out to you? How can I pray for you as you seek to root out anything in your life that comes between you and God?