II. You and Me
2 Kings 21:1-15 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he
reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 He
did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations
the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his
father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an
Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry
hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which
the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” 5 In both courts of the
temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his own
son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and
spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. 7
He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which
the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in
Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name
forever. 8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I
gave their forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded
them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.” 9 But the
people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than
the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites. 10 The LORD said
through his servants the prophets: 11 “Manasseh king of Judah has committed
these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded
him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. 12 Therefore this is what the LORD,
the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah
that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over
Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used
against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping
it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and
hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their
foes, 15 because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger
from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day.”
2 Chronicles 33:10-17 10 The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they
paid no attention. 11 So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of
the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound
MARK THIS MAJESTIC MAKEOVER!
II. You and Me
2 him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought
the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of
his fathers. 13 And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty
and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his
kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God. 14 Afterward he rebuilt the
outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as
the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it
much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in
Judah. 15 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple
of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in
Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the
LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told
Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. 17 The people, however, continued to
sacrifice at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our eternal King, who happily calls us brothers and
sisters and places us into the royal priesthood of all believers, dear Christian friends,
“It is good to be king”— a familiar phrase attributed to an eclectic group of
Homer, Mel Brooks, Tom Petty and others— might first have been coined by King
Manasseh, who thoroughly took advantage of being king. It seemed no one could stop
him from doing what he wanted to do. Yes, it was good for him to be king!
Or so he thought! So the LORD brought against them the army commanders
of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound
him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. Turns out kings can’t always do
what they want!
And neither can you and I! Sometimes we might think it is good to be king and
do whatever we want! But that is the sinful nature in each of us clamoring to get its way!
It is not what God wants.
So, God teaches us today in the lessons we read earlier that he patiently seeks
fruits of faith. Those fruits might grow easily if the soil of our heart is rich and moist so
that the seed of God’s Word takes root quickly. In some cases, those fruits might take
quite a while, but eventually, they show. They might not grow at all until the tree/plant
of our faith and life is pruned, causing pain and hardship to prepare us for growth.
In order for anyone to bring forth fruits of faith, God has to do his work of
changing hearts from unbelief to faith and lives from famine to feast. This is miraculous
work! This is monumental work! This is, in keeping with our look at a king today,
majestic work. So, I task you with this instruction today: MARK THIS MAJESTIC
MAKEOVER! I. Manasseh II. You and me. Many kings live in palatial surroundings and because we are talking about a makeover today, which is often done on houses, I ask you to think about King Manasseh’s life as a palace/mansion. As you open the front doors, what do you see? There are rebuilt high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed...altars to Baal and
an Asherah pole. Make your way down the hall and you see altars to all the starry
hosts. As you look around the kitchen, you see where Manasseh may have sacrificed his
own son in the fire. In the upstairs bedrooms, you can visualize where he practiced
3 sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. In the great room, you
see what might be the reason for all this. On the wall hangs a large portrait of Ahab king
of Israel, considered by most to be the wickedest king ever.
Although we have all dreamed about living in a royal palace, it is good to know
our homes don’t look like that, right? Or do they? Can everyone see the dirty laundry
strewn about the home of our life: the drunken demeanor we displayed at the last party,
the foul-mouthed language that we spew forth at friend and foe alike, the unfriending of a
fellow Christian who tried to address our inappropriate post?
What about the dust and dirt that most people don’t see, but we know is stuck in
the cracks and crevices all around our place, like the greed that keeps us from giving the
Lord our best, the pornography sites that we visit when no one else is around, the
selfishness that prohibits us from volunteering our time and energy to help fulfill a need?
A video taken of the palace that is our heart and mind and life would reveal a dirty and
disgusting place to live, a place that could be featured on HGTV— Hell’s God-forsaken
For all of us, a majestic makeover took place when God called us to faith in Jesus
at our sin-cleansing baptism or through the life-changing power of his Word. For some
of us now, a majestic makeover might involve only some cosmetic changes to get rid of
the unsightly stains and improve on what is currently there or to apply a little polish to
shine things up a bit.
For King Manasseh, this majestic makeover was a total do-over! This was not a
matter of putting lipstick on a pig. This was God taking Manasseh’s heart and cleansing
it of all its evil and wickedness. This was God filling Manasseh’s heart with a fresh
supply of blood and oxygen, a necessary heart transplant that would now allow for fruits
of faith in honor of the God who forgives and saves.
Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring
such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will
tingle...I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside
down. I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their
enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their foes, because they have
done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers
came out of Egypt until this day....The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but
they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of
the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him
with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.
God used pain and punishment to prune the tree that was the life of King
Manasseh and his people in order that they might produce fruits of faith. And it worked!
In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly
before the God of his fathers. 13 And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved
by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to
his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.
For Manasseh, it was his trust in the Savior who was to come that moved him to
turn away from his evil and wicked ways and to turn back to the God of his fathers, who
promised forgiveness, salvation and new life to all who believe. For us, it is our trust in a
Savior who has already come and lived perfectly in our place and died on a cross outside
Jerusalem and rose three days later that moves us to live a life that is pleasing to God.