Manasseh takes the throne at the age of twelve and immediately points his people back to the false gods of the nations surrounding him. He used the temple of the Lord to worship these gods and built altars and set up Asherah poles to help his people engage in idol worship. He even sacrificed his children to these false gods, and it resulted in his own personal captivity to the Assyrians, the same people his father defeated only a few years earlier. Amazingly, Manasseh had a complete change of heart, repented of his horrible sin, and turned to God for help. God's grace kicks in and sets Manasseh free to return to his throne. He immediately tears down all the altars and poles, fills the temple with God's priests and Levites, and instituted the temple sacrifices once again. Manasseh chose to rebel against his father's leadership and teaching, but he eventually returned to the Lord and tried to lead his people to do the same. Hezekiah's influence eventually impacted his son's life. For all those parents whose children have turned away from the Lord, please take heart. Manasseh was more wicked than any king before him and even worse than the foreign kings around him. God eventually got his attention, and the king returned to his father's teaching. Our God can still work in that way. Please never stop praying for your wayward children and never stop loving them even as they make a mess of their lives.

Help me, Lord, to love my kids no matter what decisions they make in life. Help me to always pray for them and always encourage them to return to You and Your way of life.