Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 21:1-20. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 21:1-3 (NIV) 1 Then Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king. 2 Jehoram’s brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 Their father had given them many gifts of silver and gold and articles of value, as well as fortified cities in Judah, but he had given the kingdom to Jehoram because he was his firstborn son.
On verses 1-3: Jehoshaphat had seven sons and loved them all. His love is shown by the names Jehoshaphat gave his sons: Jehoram means “Raised by God”; Azariah means “God has helped”; Jehiel means “God will live”; Zechariah means “God has remembered”; Azariahu similarly means “God has helped”; Michael means “Who is like God?” and Shepatiah means “God is the judge” (v1-2). Jehoshaphat also showed his love for all his sons by giving them gifts of silver, gold and other precious possessions, as well as putting them in charge of cities (v3).
What can we learn from this? Love is shown through generosity. As a mentor of mine likes to say, you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Similarly, God showed His love for you when He gave us His only Son Jesus. In so doing, He gave us the only name that could save us, brought us into His family, and put cities under us to manage. God showed you His love by giving you His best.
2 Chronicles 21:4-6 (NIV) 4 When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 6 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
On verses 4-6: When Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s firstborn, takes over his father’s throne, he sees his six brothers as a threat. So he has all of them killed. How could the son of one of the godliest kings in Judah’s history do such a thing? A big reason was the relationship choices Jehoram made. Jehoram married a daughter of Ahab, possibly the wickedest king in Israel’s history, and began walking in Ahab’s treacherous, murdering, idol-worshiping ways, doing evil in God’s eyes.
What can we learn from this? No matter how good a family, environment or background you come from, no human being will affect the direction your life takes more than the person you decide to marry. So be wise in your choice of a life partner. Choose someone who genuinely loves, trusts and follows the Lord.
2 Chronicles 21:7 (NIV) 7 Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever.
On verse 7: Even when King Jehoram completely abandoned the Lord, God remained true to His promise to keep a lamp burning for David’s family. A great theme throughout the Bible is: God remains faithful even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13). God remains true to His promises even when we bail on our commitments. God remains good even when we act wickedly. The Bible is not a book about how good we are, but about how amazing God is.
2 Chronicles 21:20 (NIV) 20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
On verses 8-20: After completely abandoning the Lord, King Jehoram experiences numerous problems, many of which were predicted by Elijah the prophet (v12-15): internally Jehoram’s kingdom faces rebellions from the people of Edom and Libnah (v8-10); externally Jehoram’s kingdom is attacked by Philistines and Arabs (v16-17); as a result of these attacks Jehoram loses most of his family (v14, 17); and Jehoram himself suffers a painful disease that would end up killing him (v15, 18-19).
What can we learn from all this? The rebellions, outside attacks and sickness Jehoram experienced reflect the internal turmoil that Jehoram went through after abandoning the Lord. Truly, there is no peace for those who abandon the Lord. But when we turn to the Lord and cry out to Him, that’s when we give His peace a chance to come. Unfortunately, despite all his problems, there is no evidence that Jehoram turned to the Lord or cried out to Him for help. May we not make the same mistake. Whenever you’re lacking peace, don’t run from God; run to Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You remain faithful even when I am faithless. Thank You that You remain true to Your promises even when I fail at mine. Whenever I lack peace or wisdom, thank You that I can run to You and find all the peace and wisdom I need. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!