Seven Life-Changing Words – Part 2
“In his distress [Manasseh] sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors.” (2 Chronicles 33:12 NIV)
Because of all the evil that Manasseh had done, he was facing judgment as the Assyrians bound him with chains, humiliated him, and took him captive to Babylon. You would have thought Manasseh’s life was over; but he uttered seven words that changed his life. The first thing he did was to humble himself and say, “I am wrong.” But that was not all.
Manasseh also said, “Forgive me.” And, guess what? God did! And then he restored Manasseh to the throne. Would you have done that with such a wicked king as Manasseh, who had practiced witchcraft, desecrated the temple of the Lord, and led God’s people astray? Probably not. But with God, it didn’t matter what Manasseh’s past was or what he had done; because there was forgiveness with God. And there is still forgiveness with God today. He is rich in mercy; but we have to actually ask him to forgive us our sins, as Manasseh did.
Finally, when God restored Manasseh to his throne, Manasseh expressed his gratitude to the Lord. He said, “Thank you.”
That’s what it took for Manasseh— saying, “I am wrong…. Forgive me,” and then saying, “Thank you,” for his restoration. Those are the seven words that changed the life of Manasseh, and that can change the life of anyone today. For the person who doesn’t know God, it can lead to putting their faith in Jesus, who died to take away our sins and to give us his righteousness, restored relationship with the Father and eternal life. And for the Christian who has failed God, it means bringing back the joy of our salvation and seeing the unfolding of God’s plan for our lives.
We need to say these seven words to God, and we need to say them to one another when we have hurt and offended one another. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us do that today, just as he helped Manasseh.
And let’s be sure to thank the Lord for his mercy, not only on this Thanksgiving Day, but always.
Read 2 Chronicles 33:12-17.