The Gift of Repentance

May 10, 2012 - 5:00 am

“In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.” — 2 Chronicles 33:12-13

There is a story told about King Manasseh’s foreboding childhood. Young Manasseh was sitting on his father’s shoulders. As King Hezekiah bounces his sons around, Manasseh turns to his brother and says, “Look what a strong forehead Daddy has. It would make a great pair of shoes!” Horrific! As could be expected, Manasseh grew up to be a horrible person and king.

There are no words to describe his wickedness. He sinned and caused his whole generation to do likewise. He undid all of the good that his father had done. He promoted idolatry and erected an idol in the House of God. He murdered Isaiah, his own grandfather. He sacrificed his own children. No one was more evil.

Then one day, the enemy captured Manasseh. They placed him in a copper cauldron and lit a fire underneath. Manasseh called out to every god that he had ever worshiped, but to no avail. Finally, when there are no choices left, he remembered the God of his fathers and called out in prayer. His prayers are answered, and Manasseh is saved. 

Tradition teaches that when Manasseh called out to God in prayer and in repentance, the ministering angels shut all of the windows in heaven. “Lord of the universe, how can You accept the prayers of such a terrible person,” they ask. But God finds a way to accept Manasseh’s prayers. “If I do not accept him in repentance, I am locking the door before all repentant sinners,” says God. So God digs a tunnel from beneath His throne in order to create a channel for Manasseh’s words. 

This powerful story reminds us that God’s door is always open to those who wish to return to Him. If He could find a way to forgive the wicked Manasseh, our Almighty Father can find a way to forgive anyone! It is never too late and never too difficult.

Turn to God, and confess your sins to Him. Then feel the freedom and gift of forgiveness.


8 Responses to The Gift of Repentance

  1. Dorothy Joseph-Haynes says:

    All have sinned and fall short of the GLORY of GOD. In 1 JOHN 1:9 we read how we are accepted when we give all our shortcomings to God. Isn’t GOD WONDERFUL, DIDN’T JESUS DO IT FOR US ON THE CROSS, DID NOT MARTYR EVEN WHISPER IT FROM THE LIPS FROM TIME TO TIME THROUGHOUT HISTORY: ‘Forgive them Father God, for they know not what they do’. Thank You, Holy Spirit, Ruah¡! We not only can receive, but we can truly intercede as well. God bless.

  2. Thomas Ho (Hong Kong) says:


    Confess your sins to Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son, who died for you on the cross to accomplish salvation and redemption foretold by your prophets Isaiah in his book Chapter 53 and Psalm 22. Repent please. The Holy Father will save your nation.

    Thomas Ho
    Hong Kong

  3. Stanley Kubecki says:

    For me, this is the best devotional yet! Thanks Rabbi Eckstein.

  4. Jim Gaus says:

    I have to agree Stanley Kubecki’s remarks. This is truly something I needed to read today. Thanks, Rabbi!

  5. Sandra says:

    What a mighty God we serve.He is indeed merciful but don’t take Him for granted.

  6. Debra K. Mundine says:

    The Lord’s grace and mercy is so infinite. This historical excerpt was so informative. I had no idea that Manasseh, son of Joseph (Jacob’s first son from Rachel) was such a lost soul at one time. This type of scenario occurs with many in today’s world where people have faith and belief in everything else first before they finally rely on what is real and true, Our Heavenly Father. I am very fascinated with the history of the Jewish culture. I feel much distress at the thought of all the danger and hardship many in Israel experience today. It is heartwarming to know that the Savior of the world descended from the chosenpeople. May God bless all true Christians and Jews. Shalom

  7. Joseph says:

    Thanks Rabbi Eckstein for this wonderful preaching on the greatest thing all mankind need to do-Genuine Repentance. This was the first message preached when He started His ministry and the major focus of John the Baptist. My prayer is that God will wake up all Jewish and Christian Preachers to spend more time preaching on Repentance than trying to use worldly wisdom (human reasoning) to deal with those who are turning the world into another ‘sodom and gomorrah’. Personally, i will try to forward this divine message to at least 12 people by email. May God increase His wisdom upon you. Shalom!

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