We have here an account of the great wickedness of Manasseh. It is the same almost word for word with that which we had 2 Kgs. 21:1-9, and took a melancholy view of. It is no such pleasing subject that we should delight to dwell upon it again. This foolish young prince, in contradiction to the good example and good education his father gave him, abandoned himself to all impiety, transcribed the abominations of the heathen (2 Chron. 33:2), ruined the established religion, unravelled his father’s glorious reformation (2 Chron. 33:3), profaned the house of God with his idolatry (2 Chron. 33:4, 5), dedicated his children to Moloch, and made the devil’s lying oracles his guides and his counsellors, 2 Chron. 33:6. In contempt of the choice God had made of Sion to be his rest for ever and Israel to be his covenant-people (2 Chron. 33:8), and the fair terms he stood upon with God, he embraced other gods, profaned God’s chosen temple, and debauched his chosen people. He made them to err, and do worse than the heathen (2 Chron. 33:9); for, if the uncle an spirit returns, he brings with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself. That which aggravated the sin of Manasseh was that God spoke to him and his people by the prophets, but they would not hearken, 2 Chron. 33:10. We may here admire the grace of God in speaking to them, and their obstinacy in turning a deaf ear to him, that either their badness did not quite turn away his goodness, but still he waited to be gracious, or that his goodness did not turn them from their badness, but still they hated to be reformed. Now from this let us learn, 1. That it is no new thing, but a very sad thing, for the children of godly parents to turn aside from that good way of God in which they have been trained. Parents may give many good things to their children, but they cannot give them grace. 2. Corruptions in worship are such diseases of the church as it is very apt to relapse into again even when they seem to be cured. 3. The god of this world has strangely blinded men’s minds, and has a wonderful power over those that are led captive by him; else he could not draw them from God, their best friend, to depend upon their sworn enemy.
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