Practical Lessons From 2 Chronicles (Part 3)
Our next practical lesson from II Chronicles is this:

II Chronicles 32:20-22 - "Now because of this King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven. Then the LORD sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he [Sennacherib] returned shamefaced to his own land. And when he had gone into the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down with the sword there. Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.

The account in Kings records just how large of a slaughter this was--185,000 men! This number is so large that it is hard to imagine such devastation. One angel could inflict that much harm in one night? Jesus obviously wouldn't have needed to call twelve legions of angels at Calvary (cf. Matt. 26:53)!

II Chronicles 33:1-13,15,16:

"Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, 'In Jerusalem shall My name be forever.' And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, 'In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers--only if they are careful to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.' So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen. Therefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God...He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. He also repaired the altar of the LORD, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel."

Manasseh's story is fascinating to me. He behaved more wickedly than any king who had come before him, yet his heart was not as hard as stone. He was able to repent, and he did so when he considered his situation and rightly concluded that Jehovah must be the true God. From that moment on, he humbled himself and worked to undue his wickedness. Sadly, his influence for evil could not be completely undone (as is often the case today), though he tried (cf. 33:22,23). Since we do not know the hearts of men, let us endeavor to share the gospel with all; sometimes very wicked men sincerely repent!