Why do kids blessed with godly parents sometimes choose a pathway of evil? King Hezekiah was a great and godly king who reigned in Judah (you can read his story in 2 Kings chapters 18-20). His son, Manasseh, however, jumped headfirst into the cesspool of sin. The Bible says, “He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites…Manasseh led them astray (the people of Judah), so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before” (2 Kings 21:2,9b). Here we see a young king sprinting toward self-destruction…and the ruin of his nation. Today, your heart may be breaking over a child who has rejected truth and is continuing to make one bad decision after another. You ask, “What will it take for him (or her) to come back to God?” In the case of Manasseh, God allowed him to experience the bitter fruit of his choices. The Scriptures tell us, “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” (2 Chron. 33:10-11). Try to imagine going from a throne to a torture chamber! The Babylonians treated captured kings with the most extreme pain and humiliation. Manasseh was led around like an animal on a leash, which was connected to his face with a hook through his lips! I don’t pretend to understand everything about how God works with wayward children, but I do know that God allows us to come to a place of desperation. Sometimes, personal pain is the only thing that will get our attention. In spite of all Manasseh’s woes, his story ends on an encouraging note. “In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers” (2 Chron. 33:12). In his mercy, God actually restored Manasseh to his kingdom. Don’t give up praying for your rebellious child. The last chapter hasn’t been written yet. And let them know you are praying for them and are there for them.
Pastor Mark Boucher