Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 21; 2 Chronicles 22

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Happy New Year, this 1st day of January 2024!

I begin a New Year by thanking the LORD for allowing me to serve Him through the Heart of A Shepherd. Heeding Solomon’s challenge, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1), I invite you to join me and make studying God’s Word a daily priority in 2024.

Today’s Bible study launches the second year of a two-year chronological survey of the Scriptures. A schedule for Bible readings is attached to this post, and I will follow it in the daily devotionals that I post to www.HeartofAShepherd.com. If you have not subscribed, I invite you to do so today.

Jehoram “strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren

2 Chronicles 21

 

The Reign of Jehoram, Son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 21:1-3)

Today’s Scripture reading continues our study in 2 Chronicles, and we find God’s people in desperate straits in chapter 21. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah (the southern kingdom), was dead. He enjoyed the LORD’s blessings in his lifetime; however, in a foolish decision of political expediency, his eldest son, Jehoram, married Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab (2 Chronicles 18:3; 22:3, 10). Athaliah’s counsel and wickedness nearly ended the Davidic line.

Like many fathers, though he was a great man, King Jehoshaphat had been seemingly blind to the ungodly character of his eldest son, Jehoram. Before he died, Jehoshaphat set his household in order and blessed his sons with “great gifts,” but “the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn” (2 Chronicles 21:3). Putting birthright above character, Jehoshaphat’s decision to give his crown to Jehoram, plunged Judah into an era of spiritual darkness, and political turmoil.

 

Jerhoram’s Wicked Deeds (2 Chronicles 21:4-11)

With his father dead, Jehoram “strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers [many] also of the princes [chief leaders] of Israel” (2 Chronicles 21:5). No longer bound by the opinions and influence of his brothers or godly leaders, Jehoram followed in the wicked ways of his father-in-law, Ahab and the kings of Israel (2 Chronicles 21:6).

Elijah warned Jehoram

Why? Why did this king of a godly lineage reject the LORD and do “that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD?” (2 Chronicles 21:6). The answer is found in this statement: “He had the daughter of Ahab to wife”(2 Chronicles 21:6). If not for the LORD’s intervention and His covenant promise to David, the royal line would have been extinguished (the line through which Christ Himself descended, 2 Chronicles 21:7).

Rather than the peace and prosperity Judah enjoyed during the reigns of Asa and Jehoshaphat, under Jehoram’s reign, the nation declined into an era of political turmoil (2 Chronicles 21:8-11). Under tribute to Judah, the Edomites revolted and chose their own king (2 Chronicles 21:8-10). Rather than repent of his wickedness, Jehoram continued in his sins, and his influence “caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto” (2 Chronicles 21:11).

 

Elijah’s Prophecy Against Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:12-20)

Even Elijah, though he was a prophet in Israel, sent a letter to Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:12). The prophet warned that the king’s sins and influence on Judah were cause for God’s judgment (2 Chronicles 21:13-14). Elijah warned Jehoram, “Thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out…an incurable disease” (2 Chronicles 21:15, 18). Moreover, other nations followed the Edomites’ rebellion, attacked Judah, and took Jerhoram’s household captive (2 Chronicles 21:16-17).

Unlike his father and grandfather, who were beloved and honored by the nation, Jehoram died a miserable soul. Diseased, humiliated, impoverished, and stripped of his family and possessions, Jehoram died. No one in Judah mourned his death, nor was he buried “in the sepulchers of the kings” (2 Chronicles 21:19-20).

Athaliah, A Grandmother, Slaughtered the Royal Sons

2 Chronicles 22

 

The Reign and Sins of Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 22:1-9)

Ahaziah, the youngest son of Jehoram, was chosen by “the inhabitants of Jerusalem” to be king in Judah (2 Chronicles 22:1). Like his father, he continued in the sins of the kings of Israel, and “his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly” (2 Chronicles 22:3). Though he reigned for only a year, Ahaziah was a wicked king, and his counselors were of the house of Ahab (2 Chronicles 22:2, 4).

Ahaziah’s life was cut short when he was killed by a man named Jehu, whom God appointed to cut off the lineage of Ahab (2 Chronicles 22:7). When Jehu learned Ahaziah was also in Israel, he determined to slay the king of Judah as well (2 Chronicles 22:9).

 

Athaliah, A Grandmother, Slaughtered the Royal Sons (2 Chronicles 22:10-11)

We read, “When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah [she was the wife of Jehoram, the daughter of Ahab] saw that her son [king Ahaziah] was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 22:10), and made herself queen of Judah (2 Chronicles 22:11).

 

Closing thoughts –

It is hard to imagine a grandmother slaying her grandsons; however, the daughter of Ahab was wicked. So, the unequal yoke Jehoshaphat established by his son Jehoram marrying the daughter of Ahab nearly terminated the Davidic bloodline.

Athaliah would have accomplished her plan to decimate the royal line, except the LORD used “Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king,” to spirit away Joash, saving the life of the boy who would one day be king of Judah (2 Chronicles 22:11). Thus was the royal lineage preserved according to God’s covenant with David (2 Chronicles 22:12) and would culminate with the birth of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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