I read some very sad words in Scripture the other day concerning King Jehoram of Judah. His entire story is an unsavoury one, but the words that most impacted me were these – ‘He passed away, to no one’s regret’. What a horrible ending to a life that was bursting with potential for greatness.
King Jehoram was the son of the great King Jehosophat, who, even though far from perfect, loved God and desired to walk in all His ways. Jehosophat is recorded in the Bible as being one of only a small handful of God-fearing kings, who ruled over the kingdom of Judah. Jehoram’s grandfather.
Asa, overall was a good king also, so it wasn’t as if King Jehoram’s life was void of good examples. It was quite the opposite. In fact, he deliberately chose to reject the godly path marked out by his father and grandfather, and walked in the ways of the kings of Israel instead (2 Chronicles 21:6). Jehoram did evil in the eyes of the Lord. He executed all of his brothers by the sword, to ensure there would be no threat to his throne, married a daughter of the wicked King Ahab, built high places and led Judah far from God.
No wonder, when he died, no one was sad about it! He’d contributed nothing of eternal value to his people or to the nations that surrounded the land of Israel. By his wicked behaviour, he’d defamed the name of Israel’s God and brought further judgement on God’s people. King Jehoram’s forebears were mourned and shown great honour at their deaths. In stark comparison, there was nothing in Jehoram’s life that was worthy of honour.
Let’s turn the spotlight away from King Jehoram for a moment, and turn it squarely on you and I. What will be said about us after we have died? Will people celebrate our lives and thank God that we lived, or will we simply ‘pass away to no one’s regret?’ I pray the former will be the case. God only gives us one life to live, and that life is meant to be lived for His glory, and His glory alone. Our lives should lead people to God and not away from him.
Our actions may not affect an entire nation like King Jehoram’s did, but that doesn’t render us non-influential, within the sphere that God has placed us in. My exhortation to myself and to each of you today is simply this: Life is short, and one day we’ll have to give an account for it to God. Live it well and make it count for eternity. King Jehoram ‘passed away, to no one’s regret’. I don`t want that to be my legacy. I can’t imagine that you want that for yourself either.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for what we can learn from the lives of those who went before us. Help me to live a life that glorifies You and counts for eternity. Amen.
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