Manasseh's and repentance. (1-20) Amon's wicked reign in
We have seen Manasseh's wickedness; here we have his
repentance, and a memorable instance it is of the riches of
God's pardoning mercy, and the power of his renewing grace.
Deprived of his liberty, separated from his evil counsellors and
companions, without any prospect but of ending his days in a
wretched prison, Manasseh thought upon what had passed; he began
to cry for mercy and deliverance. He confessed his sins,
condemned himself, was humbled before God, loathing himself as a
monster of impiety and wickedness. Yet he hoped to be pardoned
through the abundant mercy of the Lord. Then Manasseh knew that
Jehovah was God, able to deliver. He knew him as a God of
salvation; he learned to fear, trust in, love, and obey him.
From this time he bore a new character, and walked in newness of
life. Who can tell what tortures of conscience, what pangs of
grief, what fears of wrath, what agonizing remorse he endured,
when he looked back on his many years of apostacy and rebellion
against God; on his having led thousands into sin and perdition;
and on his blood-guiltiness in the persecution of a number of
God's children? And who can complain that the way of heaven is
blocked up, when he sees such a sinner enter? Say the worst
against thyself, here is one as bad who finds the way to
repentance. Deny not to thyself that which God hath not denied
to thee; it is not thy sin, but thy impenitence, that bars
heaven against thee.
Amon's father did ill, but he did worse. Whatever
warnings or convictions he had, he never humbled himself. He was
soon cut off in his sins, and made a warning for all men not to
abuse the example of God's patience and mercy to Manasseh, as an
encouragement to continue in sin. May God help us to be honest
to ourselves, and to think aright respecting our own character,
before death fixes us in an unchangeable state.