SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jehoshaphat (verse 1) is the king whose reign was described in the previous chapters.
- Jehoshaphat (verse 4) kills all his brothers because, instead of thinking of them as family, he considers them as threats to his power.
- Jehoshaphat married a daughter of a foreign king (verse 6) who worshipped idols instead of God, and who led Jehoshaphat in that same direction.
- Elijah (verse 12) was a prophet (like a spokesperson or preacher) of God. Elijah is written about extensively in the books of 1 and 2 Kings.
- Jehoram probably felt like he was on top and his life was going exactly as he wanted. After all, he was the king. What he didn't care about was God. He let a negative influence into his life when he married Athaliah. He led his nation away from God and to idol worship. He killed his six brothers. Jehoram didn't suffer consequences for his sin immediately, but he did eventually. He gets a painful and lingering disease that leads to his death, and when he dies no one mourns. In the same way, when we allow negative influences into our lives and sin, we may not suffer the consequences immediately, but we will eventually. We will realize that sin, even if it brings temporary pleasure, never is worth it in the end.
- It may be easy to allow influences in our lives that lead us towards sin, and sin can feel pleasurable for awhile, but when we suffer the consequences and when we look back we will wish we didn't choose sin. So ... where are you allowing sin (or sinful influences) into your life? Don't wait for the consequences, anticipate them, and choose, now, to repent. Making the decision is the first step, but isn't sufficient. Get God's help by praying daily about the temptation and memorizing a Bible verse that pertains to it, and get a friend's help by confessing your sin to them and asking for accountability.