Yesterday Kenny Boles posed a good question to us as a Romans class: “Why did God send them or give them over to the Babylonians and into exile?”
My response was that the good kings seemed to be further and fewer between. And God finally gave them up.
But thinking about it more this morning and rereading 2 Kings 21, I think it was Manasseh’s fault. I mean all in all, it was the peoples’ fault, but Manasseh was their leader. They not only did bad, but they approved of what was bad. In his 55 years of leadership, Manasseh managed to royally screw all of the people and lead Judah into sins worse than even the pagans! He took the idols of the people around them and put one in the actual house of God, the temple.
Just like Paul says in Romans 1, God gave them over to a depraved mind. When we replace God with an idol, he gets ticked off. And maybe, just maybe God will give his people over to what they want. But if we obey him, he will bring us even closer.