If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Chronicles 21, Revelation 9, Zechariah 5, John 8. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read 2 Chronicles 21.
For all the good that he did, Jehoshaphat was unable to leave Israel with a godly successor. His son Jehoram got to be king because “he was his firstborn son” (v. 3c). That’s a very good reason for choosing someone to be your successor. Solomon, for instance, was not David’s firstborn son; not even close. Jehoram must have felt some insecurity about his reign because when he had “established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel” (v. 4). He also married one of Ahab’s daughters who evidently influenced him toward idol worship (v. 6, 11).
God was gracious to Jehoram, to a point, despite his murder and idolatry, but that was only due to his covenant promise to David (v. 7). Although God did not remove him from being king, he did bring severe trials into Jehoram’s life because of his sins:
- He faced rebellion from the Edomites (vv. 8-10) “because Jehoram had forsaken the Lord, the God of his ancestors” (v. 10b).
- He received a stern letter of warning from Elijah (vv. 12-15).
- He lost when attacked by Philistines and others (vv. 16-17).
- He contracted an incurable bowel disease (vv. 18-19) and “died in great pain” (v. 19b).
Since Jehoshaphat ran such a tight ship religiously when he was king, one might reason that Israel enjoyed having Jehoram, a fellow idol worshipper, follow him and loosen things up. No such luck, though; when he died, “His people made no funeral fire in his honor, as they had for his predecessors” (v. 19c). Ouch! Verse 20 summed up his eight year reign this way, “He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.”
That phrase, ““He passed away, to no one’s regret” has been on my mind today. I read this passage earlier in the day and that description has stuck with me. It is foolish to live so that others regret your death. You’ll spend your life trying to please everyone and it is difficult to do that and please God at the same time since God wants you to be holy and everyone else wants to be unholy. But look at Jehoshaphat. He made some dumb decisions, but he lived for the glory of God to the best of his ability and he is remembered for that. Proverbs 28:12 says, “When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.” The way to be remembered well at your funeral is to live a righteous life and be the best manager for the Lord of whatever power and influence he gives you. People may be repelled by your high standards, your ethics, and your morals but over time they will respect the steady leadership you have provided.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.