By Donna Richmond Wittlif
"Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; thought they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
If we read II Kings chapter 21, we learn what kind of person King Manasseh of Judah was. He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. He built up the high places, he reared up altars to Baal, he made an Asherah (female counterpart to Baal), and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. Furthermore, he built altars to false gods in the house of the Lord, and he made his son to pass through the fire and practiced sorcery. God says he seduced the Israelites to sin more than all the foreign nations that God had destroyed.
After reading about how wicked Manasseh was, one might think that surely there is no place in heaven for this king. But as Paul Harvey used to say, we need to know "the rest of the story." We can read the end of Manasseh's story in II Chronicles 33. Verse 11 tells us that Manasseh and the people would not repent, so God sent the king of Assyria, who bound Manasseh in chains and took him to Babylon.
What did Manasseh do? He humbled himself before God and prayed to Him. God heard his supplication and brought him again to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Manasseh tore down all the altars to idols and built up the altar of the Lord, where he offered sacrifices to God. He truly repented and turned back to God.
When we sin, we may think we are too bad for God to forgive. However, it is just not so. John reminds us in I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God is always looking for His people to come back to Him, and He is more than willing to forgive us.
- Donna Richmond Wittlif, the founder and first editor of BulletinGold, lives in Denver, CO. Donna is also a writer of fiction. Her novels, World Eternal: Promises, World Eternal: Proselytes, and World Eternal: Perils are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other book outlets. For more information visit her website http://www.donnarwittlif.com/