Consider helping today!
This Chapter opens with the history of the commencement of the reign of Jehoram, who succeeded Jehoshaphat. A melancholy history it contains of his wicked reign. Here is recorded his awful disease, death, and burial.
One of the first thoughts which seems to strike my mind, in the review of what is here recorded in the sad picture of Jehoram, so contrasted to his pious father, is the degeneracy of our fallen nature. Grace is not hereditary. That the children of God in Christ are not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, is most evident in all generations. Reader! mark this as an observation, for the church of God confirms it from the beginning. Abraham had an Ishmael, and Isaac an Esau, as well as Jehoshaphat a Jehoram. Do not fail to observe also, how the Holy Ghost hath marked one cause of Jehoram's transgressions; for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife. Oh! that the alliances among gracious persons were more regarded in their descendants!
God's covenant love is a point of so much importance to be attended to in the history of the church, that the Holy Ghost hath caused it to be recorded both here and in the parallel, history, 2 Kings 8:19 . Sweet thought! that the love of God to his people, founded as it is in covenant faithfulness, and originating as it doth, not in man's merit, but God's free grace, is not lost or forfeited, either to the church at large, or the individual who is the happy object of it, from undeservings. Psalms 89:30-35 .
Observe how the Lord raiseth up afflictions from the sinner's own backslidings. The Holy Ghost marks this elsewhere in strong expressions; Jeremiah 2:19 . And the history of Jehoram is not singular in proof of it. I believe, if God's people were to watch with a jealous eye, so as to connect their corrections with their sins, they would be led frequently to trace, that punishments spring as naturally out of iniquities, as streams issue from a fountain.
Elijah, the prophet, lived much about the time as Jehoshaphat and Ahab. But Elisha had succeeded him in his office when Jehoram had the government of Judah. It is probable, however, that the reign of Jehoram might have begun before the translation of Elijah; and therefore this written message came to him in the Lord's name from his departing servant. And observe how very awful the contents of it. It first opens to his view, the great enormities he had been guilty of. Impious to God; and cruel to man: a murderer even of his own brothers! It next marks his punishment, and that is to be exemplarily striking. Yet we hear of no compunction, no sorrow, no turning to the Lord by penitence and reformation, though it should seem a long period was allowed him before it was inflicted. And in the mean time, a more general visitation of foreign enemies, whom the Lord stirred up against him, as if to see what gentler corrections would accomplish. And Reader! do notice how progressive the Lord made those judgments. First, in the enemies from without; then distresses within. His children, his wives, his substance taken away into captivity. And last of all, his own person under this dreadful disease: no doubt loathsome as well as painful. And this protracted to the long period of two years. Alas! even in this life, what awful effects do we daily behold in the visitations of God on sinners.
And as he lived so he died, unpitied and disregarded. No funeral pomp, nor tears to lament his loss. Nay, the Holy Ghost hath marked it down, as if to be particularly noticed, t hat he departed without being desired. So truly worthless in life, and so deservedly despised in death. Such was the termination of the life of Jehoram in the very prime of life, being only forty when he died, and his reign of infamy extended but to eight years!
Who can contemplate the awful character of Jehoram without dismay! Who can read such a sad page of history in the life of man, without being struck at the sad degeneracy of human nature! And is this the real representation of all men by nature! Are all men liable to the same conduct, and, but for preventing and restraining grace, would invariably pursue the same steps, if similar circumstances of temptation surrounded them? I Pause, my soul, over such a view! Am I by nature a child of wrath, even as others? Did I bring with me into existence every seed of sin; equally prone to ignorance, blindness, hardness of heart, pride, worldly affections of every kind, envy, malice, hatred, covetousness, and all the deadly fruit of a deadly stock, deeply rooted in my nature! Is this the real state of my soul, and the soul of every son and daughter of Adam! Should I, but for grace, have been forever ignorant of Jesus, unconscious of the glories of his person, unacquainted with the work of his redemption, totally regardless of his love, ignorant of the importance of his salvation, and not only averse to the desire of it, but even unconscious that I needed it! Was this my case, dearest, blessed, compassionate Jesus, when thou first looked upon me, when thou didst pass by and saw me in my blood, and didst bid me live! Should I never, but for this grace of thine, have heard thy voice, seen thy face by happy faith, tasted of thy goodness, and my hands been made to handle of the word of life! Do I really now love thee, thou precious Emmanuel, and was this the cause, because thou didst first love me! Oh! matchless goodness! oh! unequalled love! oh! precious, precious Redeemer, friend of poor sinners! Lord cause me to love thee, to live to thee, to hang upon thee, to cleave to thee more and more. Surely a whole eternity will be too short to speak thy praise! Lord take me, make me thine, poor and wretched as I am, for all I am, and all I have, soul and body, are all too little to offer, and too mean to testify thy praise, thou Almighty Saviour of our ruined and undone nature!
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 21". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent