Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      2 Chronicles - Chapter 21 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Jehoram became king.
    2. King Jehoshaphat had seven sons: Jehoram, Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah.
    3. Jehoshaphat gave each of them silver and gold, as well as other valuable gifts. He also put them in charge of the fortified cities in Judah, but he had chosen his oldest son Jehoram to succeed him as king.
    4. After Jehoram had taken control of Judah, he had his brothers killed, as well as some of the nation's leaders.
    5. He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled eight years from Jerusalem.
    6. Jehoram married Ahab's daughter and followed the sinful example of Ahab's family and the other kings of Israel. He disobeyed the LORD by doing wrong,
    7. but because the LORD had made a solemn promise to King David that someone from his family would always rule in Judah, he refused to wipe out David's descendants.
    8. While Jehoram was king, the people of Edom rebelled and chose their own king.
    9. Jehoram, his officers, and his cavalry marched to Edom, where the Edomite army surrounded them. He escaped during the night,
    10. but Judah was never able to regain control of Edom. Even the town of Libnah rebelled at that time. Those things happened because Jehoram had turned away from the LORD, the God his ancestors had worshiped.
    11. Jehoram even built local shrines in the hills of Judah and let the people sin against the LORD by worshiping foreign gods.
    12. One day, Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet that said: I have a message for you from the LORD God your ancestor David worshiped. He knows that you have not followed the example of Jehoshaphat your father or Asa your grandfather.
    13. Instead you have acted like those sinful kings of Israel and have encouraged the people of Judah to stop worshiping the LORD, just as Ahab and his descendants did. You even murdered your own brothers, who were better men than you.
    14. Because you have done these terrible things, the LORD will severely punish the people in your kingdom, including your own family, and he will destroy everything you own.
    15. You will be struck with a painful stomach disease and suffer until you die.
    16. The LORD later caused the Philistines and the Arabs who lived near the Ethiopians to become angry at Jehoram.
    17. They invaded Judah and stole the royal property from the palace, and they led Jehoram's wives and sons away as prisoners. The only one left behind was Ahaziah, his youngest son.
    18. After this happened, the LORD struck Jehoram with an incurable stomach disease.
    19. About two years later, Jehoram died in terrible pain. No bonfire was built to honor him, even though the people had done this for his ancestors.
    20. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled eight years from Jerusalem. He died, and no one even felt sad. He was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal tombs.

2 Chronicles - Chapter 21

Entered: June 05, 2008

Jehoshaphat died and his son Jehoram became king. He got off to a bad start by killing all his brothers along with some of the princes of Israel in an effort to strengthen his position as king. This is undoubtedly the act of an insecure leader. We are not surprised to read next that Jehoram followed in the ways of the kings of Israel as the house of Ahab had done. In fact, we see Ahab's influence upon Jehoram for Ahab's daughter was his wife.

Jehoram led Judah to "prostitute themselves" by worshiping other gods. As a result, his enemies went to war against him and carried off all the possessions of the king's palace along with his sons and wives. Then the Lord afflicted him with a disease of the intestines that caused the intestines to come out of him. He suffered with this disease for two years and then died. He had reigned eight years, and scripture says, "He died to no one's regret."

Entered: October 29, 2014

Jehoshaphat died and his son Jehoram became king. From this point forward Judah spiraled toward destruction. Jehoram was a wicked king and wasted no time in establishing his wickedness. Jehoshaphat could surely have seen his son's tendencies toward idolatry and evil, influenced by his wife who was daughter of Ahab. This was a time to dispense with tradition and skip over the eldest son as his successor to the throne, but this was not what he did.

As king, Jehoram moved swiftly to kill all his brothers and assure that he had no threat to the throne. In his spiritual blindness he failed to see that this move, intended to strengthen his position as king, actually weakened it. He proceeded, then, to do "what was evil in the Lord's sight," as the kings of Israel had done. (21:6) This led to discontent as the Lord stirred up other nations against Judah. It began with Edom and Libnah, nations under Judean rule, becoming unhappy with Judah's domination over them and rebelling. Later God sent the Philistines and the Arabs to attack Judah.

The Lord's judgment on Jehoram then struck him very personally. The prophet Elijah sent a letter to Jehoram telling him of what was going to happen to him because he had walked "in the way of the kings of Israel" and had caused Judah to "prostitute themselves" with idols and had killed his brothers. He and his family, the letter said, would be "struck with many illnesses, including a disease of the intestines, until your intestines come out day after day because of the disease." (21:15)

Before Jehoram was struck with the illness, the Philistines and Arabs attack Jerusalem and "carried off all the possessions found in the king's palace and also his sons and wives; not a son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son." (21:17) Jehoram lost everything, then he was struck with the illness. It must have been an excruciating illness. It went on for two years, and in the end, it is said that "his intestines came out because of his disease." (21:19) When he died he was not honored by the people as had been the case with his father and grandfather. Neither was he buried with the other kings of Judah. Every effort he made to establish his greatness did just the opposite. There is no real greatness apart from God.