Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. (2 Chronicles 33:1)
Relate: If you were to rank the kings of Israel and Judah, there is no question who should hold the top spot. David is the GOAT. He is the Michael Jordan of Hebrew Kings, the standard by which all the others are compared. After David, it depends on what your criteria are for how the rest would be placed. If you are looking for the best political leaders then his son |Solomon would take the number two slot but Hezekiah from todays Bible reading would certainly be among the top five. Hezekiah faced during his reign the greatest Judah experienced from founding right up until exile and he brought them through with flying colors. If instead of politics, you were to rank the kings by godliness then Hezekiah would be neck and neck for that number two slot. I would put him there, but a good case can be made to have Josiah number two and Hezekiah number three. No matter how we look at it, Hezekiah is definitely one of the greatest kings in Judah’s history.
And now he is supposed to die. Isaiah comes to him and tells him, “Put your house in order. You are going to die.” Hezekiah responds to this probably the same way you or I would. With fists clenched and voiced raised to the heavens, he cries out in all of his selfish, childish humanity, “I DON’T WANNA DIE!” God answers this dumb prayer and Hezekiah is granted another fifteen years of life. It is because of that answered prayer that I personally view 2 Chronicles 33:1 as one of the saddest verses in the Bible.
If we were to rank the Hebrew kings, there is no question who the greatest is: David. There would also be no hesitation in answering who would find their way to the bottom of that list. Manasseh was without question or hesitation the evilest king Judah ever had. And how old was he when Hezekiah passed on? Twelve. How many extra years of life was Hezekiah granted? Fifteen. If God had not answered Hezekiah’s dumb prayer, this evil ruler would never have been born.
React: Be careful what you pray for… God just might answer it.
No matter what I’m asking for, give me more of You. If I am asking for riches, give me an abundance of grace. If I’m asking for security, shelter me under Your wing. If I’m asking for companionship, be near me. God, most of my prayers are dumb. I don’t mean them to be, I just don’t have Your greater knowledge. Please don’t answer my prayers unless it is in a way that will draw me, and others, closer to You.