VERSES: 2 Kings 21:1-29; 2 Chronicles 33:1-20
MEMORY VERSE: 2 Kings: 21:9 "But they hearkened not..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review and recite as a class all 39 books of the Old Testament.
PRAYER: May we learn from the Old Testament and apply those things that we learn to our own lives. May we cling to God, our Father in heaven. May we only do those things which please Him.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Patient And Kind (see April - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Make a large Activity (see below)
- Children do not always do what their parents tell them, do they? We have studied four weeks about Hezekiah, and, while he made mistakes, he was a good king. In fact, we have been calling him "Good King Hezekiah" which is what he was. But, of all the good that Hezekiah did, he was not a good father. We talked about how David, a man after God's own heart, was not a good father because he did not teach all of sons--like Absalom--the good ways of God. That was just like Hezekiah.
- Hezekiah had a son named Manasseh and, when Hezekiah died, Manasseh became the King of Judah. Now, while you might think that the son of Hezekiah would be good king like his father was, he was definitely not! Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king and did not do well like his father or David. Manasseh ruled over Judah for 55 years, which was a long time, considering other kings ruled much shorter times, so, to a godly person, Manasseh's reign must have seemed like a long, long time.
- There was a cycle in Judah, one that went from destroying all the idols in the land to embracing and creating more idols and trying to be like the nations that surrounded Judah. The children of Judah had a short memory. They forgot how good things could be when they followed the LORD God, and they also forgot how bad things could be when they served idols.
- Yes, Manasseh was a very bad king. He built up the high places again after his father had destroyed them. The people worshiped idols in the high places and built altars to their idols. They made a grove like King Ahab did and we remember that King Ahab was the most evil king of Israel. They, again, worshiped the sun, the moon, and the stars. Manasseh was guilty of many sins, but some of the worst ones were building more altars in the courts of the house of the LORD, something God had never said to do. He even made his sons pass through the fire, which was a very wicked sin. He shed innocent blood. He used enchantments, magic, and made so much evil that God got very angry.
- Manasseh persuaded the people to serve idols and the people listened. They should have known better! So, Manasseh's sin also became the people of Judah's sin and they turned their ears from God. God got angrier and angrier. Finally, He said that He was going to bring many bad things upon Judah that it would even make the other nations' ears tingle.
- God allowed the captains of the Assyrian army to take Manasseh to Babylon, chained and in bondage. When Manasseh saw that he was in real trouble and in prison, who did he turn to? The LORD GOD! He did not turn to his idols; he prayed to God. The Bible says that the LORD heard Manasseh's prayer because Manasseh humbled himself before God. He knew that the LORD was God. Because of Manasseh's sincere humility and his prayer to God, God heard him and answered his prayer. He let him return to Jerusalem and regain his crown as king of Judah.
- Manasseh repented. He stopped being a wicked king and tried to be better. He took away the idols out of the temple of the LORD, and took away all the altars he had made to the idols. He repaired the altar of the LORD and sacrificed to God. He commanded all of Judah to serve the LORD God. Quite a difference from his younger days! God listens to His children when they pray to Him and He hears their prayers.
- Define "repent."
- Discuss the sentence "Apostasy is only a generation a way."
- Judah was following in the footsteps of Israel and Israel was carried away into Assyrian Captivity. Judah should have learned by Israel's bad example as to what made God angry. Judah had not learned any lessons from Israel, yet. Last time, we learned that God had told Hezekiah that Babylon would come into Jerusalem and nothing would be left.
ACTIVITY: Manasseh, A Wicked King Repents
Materials needed: 6" x 18" white construction paper, marker, crayons, scissors, tape.
- Hand out white paper.
- Fold in half.
- Fold in half again.
- Fold back one folded edge to make a box. This is the prison.
- Before taping edge, draw a prison window on one of the inner areas.
- Cut out window, so the student can see inside the prison.
- Write "2 Chronicles 33" above the window.
- Write "Manasseh, A Wicked King Repents At The End" under the window.
- When the paper is folded into a prison, look inside the window and draw a humble Manasseh on the opposite 'wall.' (see picture)
- Color Manasseh.
- Write "Babylon Prison" above Manasseh's head.
- Tape edges with tape to secure.