“Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place. . . . When Jehoram had ascended the throne of his father and was established, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel” (21:1-4). We sometimes think our contemporary politics shocking but we have nothing on these kings. Solomon got rid of all who might be threats to his rule and, here, we see history repeating itself with Jehoram. “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever” (21:6-7).
The Lord struck Jehoram with a terrible disease so that he died and his time on the throne came to an end. But the promise remained! Again, just such an encouragement to us, that is, that although men will do wicked things, and it might seem that the darkness will never be dispelled, God’s promises remain. Messiah will come. God’s people will be redeemed. Other unfaithful kings would come and go but God would remain faithful.
Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army none can overthrow;
’Round His standard ranging, vict’ry is secure,
For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure.
Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine! --Frances R. Havergal (1877)