Bible Readings for December 18th

2 Chronicles 21 | Revelation 9 | Zechariah 5 | John 8

Jehoshaphat, as we discovered over the last three days, reigned with a mixture of good and evil. Tragically, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram follows only in the evil footsteps of his father, even going so far as to ally himself with King Ahab by marrying one of the daughter’s of Israel’s wicked king. Jehoram, then, “walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD” (2 Chron. 21:6).

And indeed, Jehoram commits all manner of wickedness. He murders all of his brothers to eliminate any possible threats to his throne (2 Chron. 21:4), although Yahweh only permitted him to reign for eight brief years because of his wickedness anyway (2 Chron. 21:5). Furthermore, he sets up more high places in the hill country of Judah for idolatrous worship (2 Chron. 21:11–12). Even the prophet Elijah, who rebukes Jehoram and prophesies a plague on his people, children, wives, and possessions, cannot get Jehoram to repent (2 Chron. 21:12–15). For all this wickedness, Yahweh prompts Edom and Libnah to revolt against Judah’s rule (2 Chron. 21:8–10), and he also raises up the Philistines and Arabians against Judah, who ransack Jerusalem (2 Chron. 21:16–17). Finally, Yahweh sends Jehoram a painful, incurable disease in his bowels, which kills him over the course of two long years, to the dismay of no one in Judah (2 Chron. 21:18–20).

Those who have children should see a warning in Jehoram’s upbringing. Jehoram’s marriage alliance with the house of Ahab seems to be a significant factor in his apostasy and wickedness, but he is simply following the example set by his father, Jehoshaphat, who twice created alliances with the kings of Israel. If you knew that your children would certainly inherit your worst sins, what might change in your life today?

But also, we see that Yahweh preserves the lineage of David through grace once again: “Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever” (2 Chron. 21:7). Jehoram inherits his sin from his father, but he is also shown some measure of grace because of the obedience of another one of his ancestors, David.

When you die, will you leave a godly heritage, or will your sins and your wickedness be the heritage you leave behind, so that you depart “with no one’s regret” (2 Chron. 21:20)? Ask God that he might break generational sins in your family, while also extending his covenantal kindness to your children’s children, even to a thousand generations (Deut. 7:9).

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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