Manasseh & Influence
Manasseh was king of Judah. He was a test case for bad influence. One of the worst ever found. The Bible says he “made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel. And Jehovah spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. Wherefore Jehovah brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he was distressed, he besought Jehovah his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And he prayed unto him, and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah was God” (2 Chronicles 33:9-13).
The irony of this is how good an influence Manasseh had in his father Hezekiah. Manasseh set aside the godly, proper, and blessed life of his father for idolatry, witchcraft, and evil. This is no doubt an example that goodness and righteousness is not automatic in the next generation. Could Manasseh’s parents have allowed him to be exposed to idolatrous ways, though they followed God? Did they permit Manasseh to participate in unholy activities in which they would not participate?
Manasseh does prove what you do can lead others to do the same. He turned his back on God and led hundreds of others to do the same. When he “came to himself” (Luke 15:17) and realized his grievous sin, it was too late to turn back others who were once led to evil by his wicked ways. Years ago, a man declared his sorrow over the disobedience of his children who were grown and had families of their own. He recalled how he understood the reason why they had turned away from God. When his children were young at home, his life was not one of holiness and faithfulness. After they left home, he later repented and confessed his sins. His heart cries out for their salvation today, but he knows it was because of the years he was unfaithful while they were young. It has kept them from obeying God.
Jesus spoke about the impression people can have on little children in Matthew 18:1-6. He said, “and whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me: but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.” Great care and personal examination should be made as you consider the influence you have on others, young or old. Your voice can sway a multitude. Your actions can move others like saying, “Simon says.” Your attitudes can penetrate the minds of others to feel the same way. Your beliefs can be slowly held to by others as the guide for their lives. Do not ever be guilty of weighing someone down with unrighteousness which drowns men in sin and destruction. Remember 1 Timothy 4:12-16.