The words hit me like early morning smelling salts. “And he departed with no one’s regrets.” I couldn’t proceed further with my reading.
The words appear as the tragic finale of the life story of a king named Jehoram. Jehoram’s story is recorded in 2 Chronicles 21, which was a portion of my Bible reading plan on that recent morning. Jehoram had been chosen to be king, from among his brothers (21:3), by his godly father, Jehoshaphat (20:18-19). He quickly mangled the gracious privilege given to him. He departed from his father’s allegiance to God by having his brothers murdered (21:4).
After Jehoram’s bloody introduction he imitated evil Israelite kings (peers), married a wicked woman (lust) (21:6), foolishly mishandled foreign relations (pride) (21:10), and promoted a culture of God-ignoring, idol worship (spiritual prostitution) (21:11). The fallout from Jehoram’s lack of allegiance to the Lord was devasting for his family, nation, and body (21:14-19).
However, despite the grime of his life, it was the historical note made regarding his death that pierced me. “And he departed with no one’s regrets” (21:20). Jehoram’s inward godlessness led him to poor peers, godless sexuality, pride, and idolatry, and it left him with a meaningless life. No one was sad to see King Jehoram’s life or leadership depart. They didn’t regret it. It was, in fact, a relief for his people.
No one was sad to see King Jehoram’s life or leadership depart.
A HOLY HAUNTING
This brief exit note about Jehoram was used by the Holy Spirit to righteously haunt my soul.
First, it brought me to a humbled, trembling state of self-examination. Lord, how am I living with my peers, sexuality, pride, and/or idolatry? Search me, o Lord, and reveal my heart! Let me see any sin that I might repent and make war upon it.
Second, it brought me to a fresh dependence on the grace that flows to those who live in allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from Him I can do nothing of lasting worth, but in Him I am promised to bear much fruit (John 15:5). Lord, please cultivate fresh fruit, more fruit, abundant fruit, in and through my life, for your glory and for making my life worth living!
Third, it brought me to analyze how I am seeking to bless those with whom Jesus has placed me in relationship. No one regretted Jehoram’s passing because his dissing of responsibility led to difficulty for them. Lord, am I living as a husband, father, pastor, neighbor, Christian friend, son, and public Christian responsibly and in a manner that seeks the good of those You have placed in proximity to me?
Fourth, it brought me to a gladness and fresh resting in the King above Jehoram and all other Kings. Jesus Christ did not diss His responsibility, conform to evil peers, bend to corrupt sex, give into pride or false worship. In contrast to Jehoram, Jesus accepted His Father’s assignment to bring blessing and godly authority to those He was sent to rule. In contrast to myself, Jesus bore the perfect fruit of obedience and made perfect use of His life. And outrageously Jesus shares the reward of His perfect obedience and life with me and all who place faith in His death, resurrection, and loving leadership.
Lord, forgive me for my Jehoram-like moments and days. I don’t want to live with regrets, and I do want You to make my life a fruitful blessing in the lives of others. Jesus, thank you, thank you, thank you, for calling me, convicting me, cleansing me, and claiming me!