2 Chronicles 21
-The oldest son of Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, takes control in Judah after his father’s passing with ruthless and ungodly manner. Jehoshaphat had left wealth and power to each of his sons, but King Jehoram actually killed his brothers with the sword along with some of the rulers of Israel that he must have found threatening to his dominion (2 Chronicles 21:1-4). His reign was cut short because of his evil nature as he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. This was no doubt influenced, as we see in the text, by his wife Athaliah, a wicked woman who was a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Chronicles 21:6; 22:2-3). “Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever (2 Chronicles 21:7).”
-Revolts and unrest succeeded Jehoram’s insubordination to the ways of God in the form of the Edomites from the southeast. Also, Libnah to the southwest revolted at the same time, “because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers (2 Chronicles 21:8-10).” Further, Jehoram made idolatrous high places on the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot. This led Judah astray in their faith to Yahweh, the true and living God (2 Chronicles 21:11).
-A letter was sent from the Northern Kingdom, where the prophet Elijah ministered. Elijah pronounced the word of the LORD pertaining to the situation (2 Chronicles 21:12-15). Because of Jehoram’s disobedience and waywardness in killing his own family, who was better than him, and causing Judah to fall into idolatry, God would strike the king with great calamity in his physical body in the bowels. The people would also suffer at the word of the LORD along with the king’s sons and wives in regard to their possessions and wellbeing. Not only that, but more invasions would occur. The LORD stirred up the warring spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs who bordered the Ethiopians to come against Jerusalem and take away the possessions of the king’s house together with his wives and sons. No son was left except the youngest, Jehoahaz (or Ahaziah) who would become the next king after the short-lived and tumultuous life of Jehoram. Just as the prophet predicted, Jehoram died with an incurable sickness of the bowels in great pain. His people made no fire for him in honor and respect like they had done for his fathers. He departed to no one’s regret, buried in the city of David, but NOT in the tombs of the kings (2 Chronicles 21:16-20).
-*Application* What a sad commentary of a life we see in this Judean king. When we see material like this, it should motivate us to live in a worthy manner before the LORD and acknowledge Him in all our ways. If we are wise, we will see the disastrous consequences of corruption, jealousy, intrigue, and idolatry. Be fully devoted in heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and you will escape the corruption that is in the world by lust (2 Peter 1:4).
Verses to Memorize: 2 Chronicles 21:6-7