by Ivor Powell

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Manasseh: The Son Who Broke His Mother's Heart (12 of 34)
Series: Bible Oases: Spiritual Refreshment From Unlikely Places
Ivor Powell
II Kings 21:1-2

It has often been claimed that behind every successful man stands a dedicated woman. Paul was probably the greatest evangelist ever to serve the church, but he might not have known the Savior had not his devoted sister prayed him into the kingdom of Christ. When he was a student in the seminary of Gamaliel, Paul stayed with that woman who ultimately became a Christian. Her grief must have been enormous when her brother began persecuting the followers of the Savior. Later when the apostle wrote to the church in Rome, he mentioned her and said she "was in Christ before me" (Rom. 16:7).

Manasseh was the Old Testament equivalent of Saul of Tarsus. He was the son of Hezekiah and Hephzibah, the king and queen of Judah but, unlike them, was a terrible person who slaughtered God's people and filled Jerusalem with the blood of innocent people. Yet before he died, this abominable man repented of his sin and returned to the God of his parents. His mother's name was Hephzibah, which means "My delight is in her." When she was born her mother's eyes possibly shone with delight, and the baby was given an illustrious name. The parents sincerely believed that God had special pleasure in the child who eventually became the queen of Israel. It is significant that she became the wife of Hezekiah, the royal reformer who spread out a threatening letter before the Lord so that Jehovah could read for Himself what the insulting king of Babylon had said. There can be no doubt that Queen Hephzibah helped her husband in all the major decisions which were made; her influence was known throughout the nation. When her child was born, she had great hopes for the future, but unfortunately, her heart filled with pain when she saw him destroying everything of value within the kingdom. She could do little but pray, and it is possible the happy ...

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