Surely at the command of the LORD it came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood which he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the LORD would not forgive. 2 Kings 24:3-4
How did Manasseh shed innocent blood? “Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.” 2 Kings 21:6
Not Like Other Sins
The slaughter of innocent blood is not just like other sins for it is unique in its gravity. If the shedding of innocent blood is just like other sins then why was Manasseh forgiven yet judgement still came upon Judah as a nation?
"They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.” Jeremiah 7:31
“You must not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.” Leviticus 18:21
Profanes the Name of the Lord
The shedding of innocent blood is such a grievous sin for it profanes the Name of the Lord. Why? For it is a mockery of the all atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God and treads underfoot the blood of the covenant. There remains “but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries of God.”
They shed 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 106:38
Pollutes The Land
This is the only sin of which it says it has polluted the land - making it infertile. Even though Manasseh repented, the judgement of God was still upon the land. As a result Judah was carried away into captivity even as her sister Israel also had been.
Innocent blood cries out from the ground (land) and its cry will not go unrequited. It is a national sin. Thus God could pardon Manasseh an individual - but He could not pardon the nation unless the nation repented.
It is a landed sin - thus it is like no other. “Do not pollute the land where you live, for bloodshed pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land on which the blood is shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.” Numbers 35:23
Its Voice Cries Out
He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground.” Genesis 4:10 “so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel...” Matthew 23:35
There is nothing more righteousness than innocent blood for it has not yet been tainted.
A nation or a people that will not defend the rights of the most innocent - the children in the womb - lies under a curse and it or they cannot prosper for their righteous blood cries out as a witness against them.
Then He Will Hear
As we call out in repentance for the shedding of the innocent blood of our children may we hope that it is not too late for our land - nation - to be healed. “then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Authentic repentance is much more than just saying “I am sorry” with no change of behavior. “Repent, therefore, and turn again, for the blotting out of your sins,” Acts 3:19 Repentance must come full circle or it is only remorse - I am sorry I got caught. The mere assuagement of guilt feelings is not repentance. It might make one feel better for awhile - but it will produce no lasting fruit of repentance.
For a nation (ethnos) to repent there must be a change of behavior. If we continue in our same patterns we need not expect times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. All that remains is to be carried off into captivity as the nation of Judah was.
“It was because of the LORD's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.” 2 Kings 24:20