Who is the most wicked king in the Old Testament?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: American Christians seem to be comparing modern politicians with leaders who are mentioned in the Bible -- good and bad. Is it right to make such comparisons, and who is the most wicked king in the Old Testament? -- P.D.
A: Judging belongs solely to the Lord because He is the only One who can know the motives of the heart. He doesn't compare us to others because the Bible says that we have all fallen short of His perfection (Romans 3:23). But God has certainly given us 66 books of the Bible to teach us about our fallen human nature and what happens when we defy Holy God.
Manasseh, king of Judah, was certainly a cruel tyrant. His story is told in 2 Chronicles 33. He was an idolater who turned against God and worshiped every kind of pagan deity. Manasseh was guilty of immorality, he practiced every conceivable evil and perversion, devoted himself to witchcraft and was a murderer; even sacrificing his sons to a pagan god.
God's judgment fell on Manasseh. He was bound in chains and taken away to Babylon. But that is not the end of his story. While the wicked king was confined in the dungeon he had time to think, and Manasseh began to pray. This man who deserved Hell cried out to God for forgiveness -- and God answered.
God's mercy is so vast and beyond our comprehension because He responds to repentant hearts. Not everyone is thrown in prison for their disobedience to God. In Manasseh's case, imprisonment was turned to blessing because he found the Lord. We dare not neglect God's warning to repent today, because everyone will not have a prison conversion. "He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverbs 29:1). But God's mercy can be ours.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.