Throughout history, every nation that has murdered its babies has been removed by God. This includes the apple of His eye – Judah.
Judah went astray when King Manasseh and other kings set up an idol to Molech, an Ammonite god. Couples would honor Molech by burning their firstborn child as a sacrifice to Molech. The couples believed this would ensure their financial prosperity for themselves and their future children.
Say to the people of Israel, “Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes… then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.” (Leviticus 20:2)
Manasseh was king of Judah for fifty-five years. He sacrificed his firstborn son to Molech and by his example encouraged others to do the same. God sent prophets to Manasseh to repent, but the king would not listen to them. Thus, God sent the Assyrian army to take Manasseh into captivity to Babylon.
While in captivity, King Manasseh prayed and repented of his sins. Then God restored him to his throne in Jerusalem. Manasseh spent the rest of his life trying to remove the pagan influences in Jerusalem.
Two years after Manasseh’s death, King Josiah brought a great revival to Judah. He repaired the Temple, restored the feasts, renewed the covenant with God and reformed the nation. God said about Josiah: “There was no king like him, who turned to Him with all of his heart, with all his soul and all his might.”
Nevertheless the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him. (2 Kings 23:26)
Jerusalem fell in 586 BC and Judah was carried off captive to Babylon. The reason the Lord removed Judah: the sins of Manasseh.
They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. (Psalm 106:37-38)
(Continued in Part 2)