Monday, August 7, 2017

Jehoram’s Half Hearted Reforms

! Kings 22:52 tells us Ahaziah “…did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin: For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the LORD God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.”   When he died, his brother, Jehoram assumed the throne.  II Kings 3:2-3 tells us, “…he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.  Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.” 

Jehoram still clung to the traditions of the people around him, but he did not rebel against God to the same degree as his parents had.   Although he continued to worship the idols Jeroboam had set up, he rejected the Baal worship his parents had followed.   

Elijah began to prophesy during Jehoram’s reign, performing many miracles and warning him to turn back to God.  He saw God’s miraculous victory over the Moabites in II Kings 3:4-27, but made no change after seeing the victory.  When Naaman came to be healed, Jehoram was panicked,, but God healed him in II Kings 5.  In the siege of Samaria in II Kings 6:24-7:20, he saw God provide food and drive away the Syrian army when everyone had given up hope. Jehoram had seen His father, Ahab repent of his sin and turn to God, and had also seen what happened to Ahaziah as a result of his rejection of God.   In spite of these things, Jehoram clung to the traditions Jeroboam started, never turning to God fully. 

In a later battle with Syria, Jehoram was wounded and forced to return to Samaria to recover.  While he was incapacitated, one of his captains, Jehu rebelled, executing Jehoram and fulfilling Elijah’s prophecy about Ahab’s family.  His rebellion is described in II Kings 9.   Jehoram had been give twelve years to turn to God, but just stopping certain sins was not enough.    God wants complete obedience.

Both Ahaziah and Jehoram provide important reminders of the impact parents have on their children when they are young.  Although Ahab repented and changed later in life, neither of his sons turned to God.   Ahaziah followed the example completely, while Jehoram chose to follow the traditions of Jeroboam.    The fact of Ahab’s repentance was not enough to overcome either of the boy’s early training.   God forgave Ahab, and would have forgiven either of the boys, but neither chose to turn to him.  Though the judgment was pronounced against them because of Ahab’s sin, it was their own sin that resulted in their deaths.        

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