Read 159.) II Kings 8:23 thru 29 and II Chronicles 21:1 thru 21. This is that period of Israel’s unfaithfulness. It had been prophesied by the Lord unto Moses, back in the last chapters of Deuteronomy, but chapter 31, and beginning with verse 15, in particular. He’s made of Abraham 1.) many descendants. Israel has been into 2.) their captivity, and been brought out by the Exodus. God 3.) brought Israel into their Promised Land, as per the promise of the Lord. There were 7 such promises and prophecies by which God would orchestrate all the recorded Biblical history of Israel. This now is in keeping with that 4th promise and prophesy. Israel would 4.) break the Covenant that they had made with God at Sinai. This period of unfaithfulness is old. It started in Judges chapter 2, and has been ongoing for some 500 years now! Israel’s unfaithfulness resulted in all the consequences they knew in the book of Judges, for about 300 years, until about 1052 BC. It was at that time Israel faithlessly asked for a king, that they might be like the other nations. In doing so, they had rejected God as their King! This resulted in that approximately 122 year period of Israel’s United Kingdom, from Saul and 1052, until the death of Israel’s 3rd king, Solomon, in 930 BC. It’s only been about 82 years since then, and we come to this one king in Judah, Jehoram by name. He reigned for much of 8 years. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, who had been said, apart from some major failings, a good king, who “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord”. See II Chron 17:4+6, but especially 19:3 thru all of chapter 20, to get a feel for the incredible grace, goodness and mercy God poured out upon Jehoshaphat and Judah. This is a taste of what all of Israel’s history was to have been like, but, sadly, it was not.
What happened, that this son of Jehoshaphat went so bad? We’re at about 848 BC, by this time, and Jehoram has come to power in Judah. He was so wicked, and we read of just a few of his heinous crimes today. But, note especially how little space is given to him; just 9 verses in II Kings, and chapter 21 of II Chronicles. That account concludes by saying that Jehoram “passed away, to no one’s regret”! This 5th king in Judah was a living illustration before all God’s people, coming right after good Jehoshaphat as he did, that God would bless them, if they would seek Him and do what was right; but that He would bring calamity upon them, if they would turn away from Him and do evil. Why would we expect otherwise, when that’s the very thing that was contained within the covenant of the Lord that He had made with Israel. Knowing this to be so, why would any king of these people want to do anything, but that which would please the Lord? Corrupted and sinful human nature; it has not changed or improved any in the near 2,900 years since. In our hearts, we are no different, and we are no better. We need God! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell