Hey! Finally! We’re back in the books of Kings and Chronicles…if only for a short time.
The story of Amon, son of Manasseh, is very short, but not very sweet. Like Manasseh, Amon got into all kinds of idolatries and unspeakable sin. It’s amazing that he would do so, after he saw what had happened to his father.
But there was one thing that was very different between this father and son, and it’s written in II Chronicles 33:23.
Unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the Lord; Amon increased his guilt.
The result? Ultimately, his own people conspired against him and murdered him.
I have to believe that there were prophets who tried to warn Amon, just as they did with Manasseh. But he refused to listen. Instead, he “increased his guilt.” What does that mean?
I suppose one thing that it means is that he piled sin upon sin. When we confess our sins and repent, God washes them away and we’re given a clean slate. But when we don’t repent, our sins pile up just as a trash pile would. I remember visiting the garbage dump when I was living in Hawaii, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.
Another thing it probably means is that his sins got progressively worse. So often, when we commit a small sin, our conscience smites us, and if we repent right away, it keeps our hearts sensitive to sin and to God’s Spirit. But when we ignore the voice of God, our hearts become hardened and soon we can’t hear his voice, nor do we feel any guilt when we commit sin. The result is a heart that know longer cares when we do what’s wrong, leading to bigger and bigger sins.
A final thing it probably means is that by knowing he was sinning, he increased his guilt by sinning anyway. Sometimes we sin unintentionally. It’s still sin, and it still must be dealt with, but when we sin knowingly, our guilt is much greater, and so is our accountability. Jesus said,
That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:47-48)
How about you? Are you confessing and repenting of the sin in your life? Or are you letting it pile up in your life? Let us not be like Amon who increased his guilt and had to pay the price as a result. Let us be like Manasseh who repented and turned from his sin, and in the process, found God’s mercy.