Archive for April 7th, 2017
(This passage is also referenced in 21 Kings 22:45-50 and 2 Kings 8:20-22)
The books about the Kings are full of these sad stories. Part of Israel and Judah, although divided having to learn the same lesson (oh so like me!) over and over and over. A fab local leader said to a group of us once ‘You will crack along the same weak point over and over, so get that weakness sorted out!’ and here is Judah’s weak point (but when it’s not Judah, it’s Israel!) – they are led by a king who is not following the leading of Yahweh. What makes you my special people is me says God, so be special!
We have to learn this over and over – it’s got to be God – God gave them Moses but He knew they had to understand that what they also needed was a heavenly /divine leader. God gave them Joshua but he knew what they needed was a heavenly saviour. God gave them Judges – knowing that they needed to understand that He had to be their judge. God gives them Kings – but they need to let him be King – and ultimately he sends Jesus: the Saviour, the Judge, the Leader and Guide, the King! What you need is ME, says God. I love the Old Testament: it’s all about Jesus!
God’s judgement is very fitting for Jehoram, because it is about being excluded from all that God has for His people. It is exactly what hell is like. The disease that Jehoram has is symbolic in itself because it made him permanently unclean – the outward reflecting the reality. I see in it a kind of flipside to that amazing story of the healing of Naaman the Syrian – it didn’t matter to him in terms of the Law that he had leprosy because he wasn’t one of God’s special people, but his healing and his climb down from pride – humble obedience in fact, a contrite heart were exactly what brought his healing about and the new found cleanness brings him into that special friendship with God.
Jehoram on the other hand is born into the privileged place of the House of Judah (Genesis 49.8) and brought up close to God – watching the mess over the border brought about by Ahab – who’s example would you follow, but Jehoram has bought into Ahab’s ways by marriage and he continues to behave like Ahab. So even though God’s fire has fallen only a matter of years previously, the decline still continues.
Heavenly Father, You know where our weak points are help us to bring them to you for strengthening and reinforcement and help us always to remain in your eternal strength. Amen.