Summary: This sermon speaks about a king of Judah who failed God miserably and ended his life in disgrace. It also encourages us to think of how we will be remembered one day.
THE MAN WHOSE DEATH NOBODY REGRETTED (2 Chronicles 21:20)
‘Jehoram……….. reigned in Jerusalem eight years. No one was sorry when he died. ….’ (vs 20)
Introduction – When I was a young boy, I remember a cowboy movie titled ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ where the hero (Clint Eastwood) was identified as, ‘a man with no name’. Another movie DVD I came across recently was titled, ‘My Name is Nobody’. I am also reminded of a tear- jerking Country/Pop song, recorded by a lady from England named Karen Young and by the singing group, The Travelling Wilburys. The song went like this:
I’m nobody’s child, I’m nobody’s child
Nobody wants me, I’m nobody’s child
Nobody likes to be a ‘nobody’!
Today, I want to speak about a man ‘whose death nobody regretted’. His name was King Jehoram of Judah. As a Pastor, I have attended hundreds of funerals and most often at funerals, family members and friends have feelings of regret about things they couldn’t or didn’t do for the deceased person. With Jehoram it was different! 2 Chronicles 21:20 says of him, “no one was sorry when he died” (NLT). What a horrible way to be remembered! The NIV says of him, “he passed away to no one’s regret”.
Proposition – Will you be missed one day or not?
The name Jehoram means, ‘Jehovah is exalted’. So, what brought a man with such a noble name to be identified as a man whose death ‘nobody regretted’?
From 2 Chronicles 21, I would like to share 2 reasons why I believe King Jehoram came to this tragic end, and then touch on the honor he lost. The 2 reasons are:
1) JEHORAM YIELDED TO EVIL (SIN) – 2 Chronicles 21:4-6, 10-11
2 Chronicles 21:4 says, that when Jehoram established himself as king, “he killed all his brothers and some of the other leaders of Judah”. This shows how badly he abused his powers. To possibly avoid this kind of family rivalry, His father, King Jehoshaphat had carefully divided his inheritance amongst all the brothers, with Jehoram getting the best share by being appointed King (vs 3). However, after consolidating his power, Jehoram planned and executed the massacres as shown in vs 4. His wife Athaliah, following in his wicked footsteps, would later attempt to wipe out the line of David (2Chronicles 22:10).
Vs. 6 tells us that Jehoram, “was as wicked as King Ahab….”. It’s a pity that he followed Ahab’s (his wife’s father’s) wicked ways, instead of the more godly ways of his own father, King Jehoshaphat. Vs. 6 further adds, “Jehoram did what was evil in the Lord’s sight”. Verse 10 sadly shows us however, that the worst decision Jehoram made was that he ‘abandoned the Lord, the God of his ancestors”. This led to severe idolatry across the nation (vs 11).
It’s amazing what the power of sin can do to a man or woman who yields to it, even a man with a godly heritage like Jehoram. The awfulness of sin can be seen in the destructive patterns of much of human behavior in the world today. As Christians, let’s realize that sin can bind us too, if we are not careful of temptations that come against us. The consequences of sin are always painful as seen in the life of King Jehoram and as seen also in the fall of many Christian leaders.
Being tempted to sin is one thing, yielding to sin is quite another matter!
Today, are you bound in any way through sin? Turn back to Jesus with your whole heart today and let Him break any bondage that the evil one may have brought into your life.
If you are reading this and maybe you have never committed yourself to Jesus and had the power of sin broken in your life, you can do so, right now. Repent of your sin and invite Jesus into your life. He gave Himself on a cross to bring forgiveness, salvation through God’s grace and the gift of eternal life to you. The famous hymn by Oswald J Smith says,
When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.
2) JEHORAM REJECTED GOD'S WARNINGS
Jehoram received three possible warnings.
Firstly, Vs 8-10 speaks about Edom, a formerly subdued nation, revolting against Judah during King Jehoram’s reign. In the battle that followed, God saved Jehoram from what seemed like certain death, after he and his chariot commanders were surrounded by the Edomite army. This could possibly be a warning given by God for him to repent and turn back to God.
Secondly, it is mentioned in vs 12 that Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet. This letter warned him of the severe consequences of his evil ways (covered in this sermon in point 3). This was another opportunity for Jehoram to repent and turn back to the Lord. However, we see no repentance in Jehoram’s wicked heart.