“I am not good enough.” – everyone at some time.
King Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 33:1-20) is probably the most reviled if not the most wicked king that Judah ever had in the history of the tribe. This was a man who intentionally did undid all of his father’s (Hezekiah) work in removing idolatry in Judah. He rebuilt tore down altars and he created an Asherah as Ahab had done. He went beyond just that he began building altars to idols within the temple of the Lord. The place that God told David and Solomon would be where his name resided forever. Manasseh did some terrible things that even now my heart tightens at the thought of this but he sacrificed his own son by burning him.
I mean, can you draw the line any clearer that you hate God?
Reaping What You Sow
The Bible is clear in Galatians 6:7-8 that what a person sows he will also reap. If we focus our endeavors on things of the flesh we are going to reap corruption. If we focus on the spirit we will have eternal life. God used his servants and prophets to remind Manasseh of this when he told him that because he did things more evil than the Amorites that Judah and by proxy, Jerusalem would have disaster struck upon her (2 Kings 21:10-16).
There is a really important lesson here for men. We are leaders of our homes. Leaders of our communities. Leaders in our church. It’s not one man, it is every man. What you do in your home, in your community and in your church is a direct message of how those who are under your influence should act and treat others. Your wife, your children, your friends, your co-workers. All of those people who look up to you in some way will see that your continual actions in whatever way that you present them, are acceptable.
Husbands, that means how you treat your bride will model how your son or daughter will treat or expect to be treated in their lives. Your influence will affect a generation regardless of how small you think the influence it may be.
Faith requires us to divorce ourselves from the mistress we call sin for without that we dishonor our relationship with God.
It’s clear, we have established that Manasseh was a horrible example of a Godly leader. He slaughtered innocents and built idols right in God’s own house. He is not good enough.
God says he is. God promises us that we all are. Sometimes it may take the loss of everything to open our eyes. That is what it took for Manasseh. God fulfilled his promise and Assyria overran Manasseh and captured him. He was bound in chains of bronze and taken to Babylon. It was in this time of despair that Manasseh cried out. His cry was so humbling that God knew that Manasseh had a change of heart and his repentance was genuine (2 Chronicles 33:13). God returned Manasseh to Jerusalem where Manasseh spent his remaining days trying to undo the path of sin he was wrought.
It is bittersweet that Manasseh found redemption and was given grace when he did not deserve it. We are in the same position as sinners. We find redemption through Jesus and the grace God blesses us with gives us peace. However, Manasseh had long sown seeds of hate towards God and the people of his nation were unconvinced. Manasseh may have tossed out the Asherah, the idol altars but the people of Judah had been led so far astray they would end up facing God’s wrath.
You Are Good Enough
The type of sin you commit and the amount of sin you commit are metrics that God has no use for. We as humans look at those things for unjust justification. We use it as a means to make ourselves feel better even though in reality we are just as wretched. We create a lie to continue living a life divorced from God. Yet, God does not classify sin as “not as bad as that sin” because he cannot stand sin period. That is why we say ‘sin is sin’ regardless of it’s origin. This does not condone the continual sinning in any way. True belief that Christ is the only way to salvation is not a stopgap that allows someone to sin, ask for repentance and then do it again immediately afterward.
God allows us free will and the decision to choose Him over all things. He does not have to do that. He could have allowed us to spiral in to despair and remain separated from Him but He is a good Father. When we fail He is there to let us know that failure is temporary but communing with Him is eternal if we want it. I can never remember a time where my father said I wasn’t good enough. I was always encouraged to try again and told I had done well. Even when I failed I was told that things don’t always happen the first time.
We fail a lot as children of God. Yet, God is always there encouraging us to try again. Manasseh did awful things but when he called upon the Father he knew that was real above any idol, God listened. He took the worst of sinners and lifted him high. If your remorse and desire for repentance is real then there is no question that you are good enough. God knows, He tells you.
You are good enough.