Former NBA Championship Coach, Pat Riley has said “Games are won or lost in the second half.” We observe the reality of that in the life of Manasseh of winning in the second half of his life.
Manasseh was only twelve years of age when his reign began, which lasted fifty-five years. During the early part of his reign, he did more evil than all the nations that had been displaced by Israel. That’s quite an indictment! He took idolatry to new level, as he worshipped Baal’s of the sun and moon; as well as being involved in astrology, worshipping the stars too.
He provoked to the Lord to a great anger by setting up an idol of himself in the house of God. He had a manner of being able to seduce the entire nation of Judah to follow in his footsteps.
Judgement fell on Manasseh in the form of captivity by the Assyrians, where he found himself in prison bound by bronze. It was during his incarceration that he sought repentance of the Lord. The substance of this prayer, we don’t have Biblical record of; however the Targum and Apocrypha do have what their writers believed was the prayer.
In response to his prayer, Manasseh was restored to Jerusalem and his reign once again. Who made this happen, beyond the intervention of the Lord, and how long he was imprisoned are unknown. What we do have record of is the king’s response to this window of opportunity that humility, contrition and repentance opened for him. He destroyed all the idolatry that he had set up and restored a wall or a partial part of the wall in Jerusalem. He destroyed the idols of foreign gods and cleansed the house of the Lord. He restored the altar of the Lord.
When Manasseh died, his son Amon assumed rule, which only lasted for two years. His life was cut short by his own servants, killing him in his own house. His leadership was worse than all his father had done previously under that reign. Amon’s son Josiah was them put on the throne for Judah.
Friend it is never too late to come to the Lord. He stands ready, willing and able to not only extend; but to provide forgiveness because of His great love. Remember the quote by Pat Riley. You too may feel like you’re in the second half and your about to lose the most important game of your life; receiving eternal life. You can turn to the Lord and He will even give you the strength to follow through the remaining moments of this eternal game.
Play to win, even in the second half.