“For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah … and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them” (21:3). Good King Hezekiah died, and his son Manasseh immediately plunged Judah back into idolatry; he “shed very much innocent blood” (v16). Hezekiah’s reforms had been important, but the next generation made their own choices, and Manasseh chose to follow the dark practices of pagan nations.
Despite Manasseh’s efforts to erase God’s presence, and the resulting disaster (v12), God’s plan of redemption could not be stopped. “In Jerusalem … I will put my name forever” (21:7). His mercy is greater than our sins.