Hezekiah died, having been a righteous and innovative king. After his death, Mannaseh his son took the throne and reigned fifty-five years. He did evil and rebuilt the high places, raised up altars for Baal, a wooden image, and worshipped the host of heaven. He even built altars to false gods in the house of the Lord. He made his son pass through the fire, used witchcraft, and consulted mediums. He even put a carved image of Asherah in the house of the Lord. This was the same house where God promised to protect and keep them, but only as long as they kept the Lord’s commandments. The Lord sent word through His prophets that because of Manasseh’s evil, He would bring calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah so intense that those who hear of it, both their ears would tingle. He described His coming judgement as wiping a dish and turning it upside down. He would deliver them into the hands of their enemies, and they would be plundered. Manasseh was an evil king, worshiping idols and shedding blood from one end of Jerusalem to the other. Then he died and his son Amon reigned in his place.
It is bad enough when individuals worship false gods, setting up idols in their homes. However, the degradation to which Mannaseh sunk Judah was so deep that they set up idols even in the house of the Lord. This was a horrible affront to the name of the Lord and His house, so much so that God pronounced judgement upon the king and Judah. Imagine the arrogance of a man to set up an image of a false fertility god right in the house of the true God. No, imagine the position of religious blindness to which one stoops to think this appropriate. We see people bringing ideologies and opinions into the house of the Lord, seeking to condone and even endorse practices that are patently sinful based on the word of God. How can we think that the judgement of God is not far behind? If the king says sin is appropriate in the house of the Lord, then the nation is in danger of judgement. If a pastor says sin is allowed in the house of God, then you probably need a new pastor or a new congregation. Don’t be duped by social reform that calls sin righteous and calls true righteousness hate.