2 Chronicles 21:1-20 – Let God Lead The Way Not Me!

Posted: September 15, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 21:1-20

Jehoram Reigns in Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

When you look back at your life, you can do one of two things. You can either blame other people for how your life played out or you can own it and see how the decisions you made caused the actions and reactions in our lives.

There have been some particularly low points in my life. These low points coincided with the ending of my previous marriages. And after the second marriage ended and I was just wiped out emotionally and spiritually and just tired of life. I was 42 years old, flat broke, and living at my parent’s lake house. I could blame all my problems on these two previous wives and certainly there were things that they did to make my life miserable and often it was done on purpose to manipulate and control. However, ultimately, I played a role in how those marriages played out. I could have been more of leader of my household among many other mistakes made in those marriages. Further, in both those cases, I did not allow God to choose my mate for me. In each case, it was passion mistaken for enduring love. In each case, it was a cure for loneliness. In each case, it was for a need to be accepted. I could have allowed God choose my mate. I could blame my parents for the fact that I grew up moving every few years as a child and teenager as a Methodist preacher’s kid. I could blame them for the resulting need to be accepted in a life where attachments to people and places did not last long. I could blame them for it making me a chameleon just fitting into my environment, changing colors, adapting, making myself whatever needed to be to fit in. All those things were things that I could blame. However, through the grace of God, He allowed me to see that circumstances do not define you, other people do not define you, and sometimes you just have to accept the things that you grew up in and you have to accept ownership of the mistakes you made yourself. Then, by grace, move on in His forgiveness and attempt to live life according to His standards from this point on.

It is that idea of accepting responsibility and moving on that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 21:1-20. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

Chapter 21

1 When Jehoshaphat died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Jehoram became the next king.

2 Jehoram’s brothers—the other sons of Jehoshaphat—were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.[a] 3 Their father had given each of them valuable gifts of silver, gold, and costly items, and also some of Judah’s fortified towns. However, he designated Jehoram as the next king because he was the oldest. 4 But when Jehoram had become solidly established as king, he killed all his brothers and some of the other leaders of Judah.

5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 6 But Jehoram followed the example of the kings of Israel and was as wicked as King Ahab, for he had married one of Ahab’s daughters. So Jehoram did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 7 But the Lord did not want to destroy David’s dynasty, for he had made a covenant with David and promised that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.

8 During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites revolted against Judah and crowned their own king. 9 So Jehoram went out with his full army and all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he went out at night and attacked them[b] under cover of darkness. 10 Even so, Edom has been independent from Judah to this day. The town of Libnah also revolted about that same time. All this happened because Jehoram had abandoned the Lord, the God of his ancestors. 11 He had built pagan shrines in the hill country of Judah and had led the people of Jerusalem and Judah to give themselves to pagan gods and to go astray.

12 Then Elijah the prophet wrote Jehoram this letter:

“This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: You have not followed the good example of your father, Jehoshaphat, or your grandfather King Asa of Judah. 13 Instead, you have been as evil as the kings of Israel. You have led the people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship idols, just as King Ahab did in Israel. And you have even killed your own brothers, men who were better than you. 14 So now the Lord is about to strike you, your people, your children, your wives, and all that is yours with a heavy blow. 15 You yourself will suffer with a severe intestinal disease that will get worse each day until your bowels come out.”

16 Then the Lord stirred up the Philistines and the Arabs, who lived near the Ethiopians,[c] to attack Jehoram. 17 They marched against Judah, broke down its defenses, and carried away everything of value in the royal palace, including the king’s sons and his wives. Only his youngest son, Ahaziah,[d] was spared.

18 After all this, the Lord struck Jehoram with an incurable intestinal disease. 19 The disease grew worse and worse, and at the end of two years it caused his bowels to come out, and he died in agony. His people did not build a great funeral fire to honor him as they had done for his ancestors.

20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. No one was sorry when he died. They buried him in the City of David, but not in the royal cemetery.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Jehoram’s reign was marked by sin and cruelty. He kills his own brothers, all six of them. He married a woman that who worshiped. He allowed and even promoted idol worship. Yet, he died by a lingering and painful disease. Punishment for sin is not always immediate and/or dramatic. However, if we ignore God’s law, we will eventually suffer the consequences of our sin. Many of us will blame others or circumstances, but often when we look back it is due to sinful decisions that circumstances played out the way they did. It was our choice to make sinful decisions and we must live with the consequences of those decisions.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that we have an awakening experience when we accept our value through Jesus Christ. Once we do that, we can begin to quit blaming others for what happened in our lives. When we find our value in Christ, we can take ownership of our own mistakes and grow from them. Learn from them. And most of all, learn to seek God’s will for our lives instead of going headlong into sinful behaviors that we think are going to make us happy. Let God light your path instead of your own lamp. Let God lead your decisions.

Amen and Amen.

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