Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nobody Cared that this guy died.

The stories of the Old Testament kings are fascinating.  Too many people read the New Testament with great delight, but neglect the Old Testament because it is complicated, full of violence, and confusing.  Don't do it!  Read the entire Bible, for there are treasures to be found therein. The following story is found in 2 Chronicles 21. It's the story of wicked King Jehoram.

Jehoshaphat was a good king, but he had a very wicked son, Jehoram.

Jehoshaphat walked with God, slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.  Their father had given his sons great gifts of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn. When Jehoram had ascended the throne of his father and was established, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel.  He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.   He married the daughter of Wicked Ahab, and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Bad News

God is always watching.  Jehoram's actions did not escape His attention.  He spoke through Elijah the prophet:

 And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel and have enticed Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom, as the house of Ahab led Israel into whoredom, and also you have killed your brothers, of your father's house, who were better than you, behold, the LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.’”

Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord

And the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the anger of the Philistines and others, who invaded Jerusalem and plundered the king's house, carrying off his sons (except for the youngest - God's provision so that the line of David would continue) and his wives and his possessions.

And after all this the LORD struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, like the fires made for his fathers. He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one's regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

He Departed with No One's Regret

Whereas Jehoram's father Jehoshaphat "slept with his fathers" and was buried with his fathers in the king's tomb, there was no honour done on behalf of this wicked king Jehoram.  He departed with no one's regret.

Lessons to Learn

God is Sovereign.  He blessed the line of David and preserved it so that Jesus would be born from David's line.  Yet in this line He included one of the most vile people who ever lived.  

God is Omniscient.  Nothing escapes His attention.  Don't fret about wickedness in the world, or wonder what this world's coming to.  God sees, and knows.

God is Omnipotent.  He will bring vengeance on those who deserve it in His own time.  Wicked men may think they are all powerful, that nobody can touch them, and that they can wreak havoc without repercussion, but a day of reckoning will come.  God may have the bowels of the wicked come out, and they may die in great agony some day.  He is just, and He will do what is right.  There's a part of me that says "YES!" when I read about Jehoram's horrible end.  He got what he deserved.  

He departed with no one's regret.  

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