A Funeral “Celebration”!
Scripture reading for April 29th: 2nd Chronicles 21-25
At a person’s death, there is usually a time of reflection concerning the life that was lived. Loved ones and friends gather to remember the good in the person. The preacher usually looks for some sign of redemption in the life that was lived in order to bring comfort to those who are mourning. But what can be said if a person dies, and no one regrets his death? What if instead of mourning, their passing brings a celebration? This is what is encountered in today’s reading!
Jehoram was the oldest of six sons of King Jehoshaphat. When Jehoshaphat passed, he designated Jehoram as the heir to the kingdom. Jehoram promptly executed his six brothers as well as other leaders who may have threatened him. (2nd Chronicles 21:3-4) Scripture states that Jehoram walked in the ways of the kings of Israel who were wicked. One of the reasons was a wife who happened to be a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. The ways of these kings was one of idolatry and false religion. They rejected the law of the Lord and set up their own idolatrous religious system.
The consequences of Jehoram’s rebellion should stop and make us think. We find Edom rebelling against Judah followed by Libnah and then the Philistines and Arabs. War and strife are results of rebellion. Enemies who would be silenced by the fear of the Lord that rests upon godly leaders, are suddenly emboldened when idolatry and wickedness is present.
God tried to warn Jehoram. He allowed him grace because of a covenant that He had made with David, but warned him with a letter from the godly prophet Elijah. Elijah spelled out Jehoram’s rebellion, murder of his innocent brothers, and idolatry. He then plainly told him of the consequences. Jehoram and his family would be struck with a heavy blow. Jehoram would have a lingering disease of the bowels and die. (2nd Chronicles 21:12-15) In spite of the warning, Jehoram refused to repent and he suffered the consequences!
The record concludes with Jehoram’s gruesome death after two years of a lingering illness. This man lived such a wicked life, that no one mourned his passing. No one regretted his life ending so soon! (2nd Chronicles 21:19-20) One can even imagine that there was a celebration that this wicked man had finally got what was due him! May this never be said of us!