Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psalm 130)
And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God. ( 2 Chronicles 33:12-13)
Mannaseh was a monster. He was a tyrant who became King of Judah after his Father Hezekiah reigned. He persecuted and killed true prophets,( he may have sawed Isaiah in half, in a log), filled Jerusalem and the temple with idols, and led Judah into such a complete apostasy that she never recovered until after the Babylonian captivity.
But he was hauled away into captivity, literally led about by a nose ring. In his misery and humiliation, He turned to God, and asked God to forgive him of his sins.
God heard him, and had pity on him , answering him and restoring him back to Jerusalem.
I love the simplicity of this! God forgives. God forgives those who humble themselves. God forgives those who humble themselves, and ask for forgiveness… it is just that simple.
What a gift to all of us, the image of that extremely wicked King crying out to God, confessing his sins, and imploring God for mercy.
What a gift to the Kingdom of Judah, when they heard about this restoration. Our God forgives sin, He is slow to anger and abounds in mercy. Mannasseh simply asked for forgiveness and received it on the day he asked it. s
I know how that many of my astute readers are already thinking, saying “Yes but the sins had consequences which he and Judah had to live with….”. I agree, we all need to know that even forgiven sins have consequences, and the acceptance of those disciplines is one of the marks of true repentance.
But put aside the consideration of those consequences for a moment, and marvel with me at the majesty and mystery of total and complete forgiveness of even the vilest of sins, by a perfectly Holy God.
All of the world as it currently is , is a consequence of sin, and the outworking of it. But Let us Praise God that He is merciful and faithful and Righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I will deal with the consequences of my sin and other’s sin, yet rejoice in the fact that God HAS FORGIVEN ME, FREELY. He has redeemed us from having to pay the infinite consequence, to die in our sins and to go to the pit forever!
Hallelujah! If God can forgive Mannaseh, Saul of Tarsus, a thief on the cross, and so many others, ( in the simplicity of confession, ie a humble acknowledgment), we rejoice, that likewise He will forgive us, and renew the fellowship.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:1-5)
In the simplicity of a humble confession, ” …You forgave the iniquity of my sin”. Think about that.