II Kings 21 doesn’t seem to end right. With all the evil described of King Manasseh & Judah in verses 2-16 (that they were worse than the pagan nations which had preceded them) and the punishment promised by the prophets (:10-15), verse 18 says that Manasseh died and “slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house.” That was his end? No judgment? No humiliation? No foreign invasion at the hands of God? It “seems” that Manasseh got away with idolatry, and infanticide, and murder, and more.
Only he didn’t.
This is where our faith comes in. We are to trust that what God said in Hebrews 9:27 is true, that “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes the judgment.” We are to realize that “success” in this life is not necessarily an indication of the approbation of God, and that this world is not the place were all wrongs are righted — at least not now.
Our assignment is not to be so discouraged by the apparent “success” of those who do evil, that we abandon our faith in God, and surrender to worldly standards ourselves. Psalm 73 describes Asaph’s struggle with this very thing: “the prosperity of the wicked.” (73:3) But when he visited the sanctuary of God, and pondered in faith, he realized: “You cast them down to destruction. How they are destroyed in a moment.” (73:18-19) It may not appear so right now, but everything will change for the wicked in “a moment.” God’s faithful ones will trust that one moment after death, Manasseh realized he didn’t “get away with it.” No one does.