Spiritual Director · August 14, 2017

Devote #82

Can you think of someone who was given all the advantages in life, but for whatever reason, threw it all away?

I think of people who were brought up in a strong Christian home, but once they got out on their own, rejected and left God out of their life. Or I think of some the professional athletes who had strong promising careers, but because of new found fame and wealth, went the wrong way and lost everything to drugs. I also can think of some strong marriages that got side swiped when they let their guard down and got involved with another person. It’s then you might find yourself asking, “How in the world could this happen? How can a person who seemingly has it all, ruin it all?”

That’s what I thought of as I read 2 Chronicles 21.

King Jehoshaphat, who was a godly king, died, and because God had promised to King David that someone from his family would always be the King of Judah, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram took over as king.

Jehoram was blessed tremendously by being raised in a home where his father “obeyed the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 20:32). Jehoram was one of seven sons born to Jehoshaphat and we’re told that all of them were blessed with gold, silver and other valuable gifts.

But, when Jehoram took over as king, the first thing he did was have his six brothers killed. Not only that but we’re told he married an ungodly woman who lead him further away.

He disobeyed the Lord. Other nations rose up to fight against him, and though he escaped with his life, Judah was never able to regain control again. At the end of his life, God struck Jehoram with an incurable stomach disease and he died in terrible pain.

So we need to ask, how did Jehoram go from a position of great favor, to dying a painful, miserable death under the just sentence of God?

The answer to that question is actually very simple. The Bible tells us,

“Those things happened because Jehoram had turned away from the LORD…” —2 Chronicles 21:10

Jehoram outrightly rejected all that he had been taught as a child and turned away from God.

But, it wasn’t only God that Jehoram had fallen out of favor with, but also the people.

When he died, no one cared. As a matter of fact, they were glad to see him go. There was no honoring him in his death as there had been for previous kings. They didn’t even bury him with the other kings, but put him a common grave.

Jehoram had gone from a position of knowing the truth and living in great favor and comfort to rejecting the truth, losing everything, and dying alone, slowly, painfully, and with no one who even cared.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Thank God for His involvement in your life – for saving you… forgiving you… loving you. Live that way every day!

Help me always glorify You with my life. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhause

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.