Tuesday, 19 October 2010

To no one’s sorrow, he died

He was thirty- two years old when he became king. He reigned in Jerusalem eight years and, to no one's sorrow, departed. However they buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. – 2 Chronicles 21v20

Jehoram’s life is one of those tragedies that we come across in scripture. He became king when he was 32. He died when he was 40. When he died no one was sorry and he was not buried with the other kings. He, like Jehoshaphat married into Ahab’s family. His wickedness was like that of the kings of Israel. His death was a terribly painful one (see verse 18-19).

When we hear names like Hitler, Mussolini, Hussein, and Ceauşescu we think of wicked men who, when they died, they did so to know one’s sorrow. In fact, in most of these cases the majority of the world partied when they died. The sad thing is that their deaths gave the world good cause to rejoice. Jehoram was such a man.

When I think of these men I think of what happened to bring about such hatred. These were all little boys one day. They nursed at their mother’s laps, they played with the dog, and they ran around the house like all little boys. What happens to men like this between those times of childhood and being the most hated men on earth?

These men are all examples of what happens when sin goes unchecked. The amazing truth is that these are also men for whom Christ died. These were all men that God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for them.

When we see these wicked men in the news we can understandably respond by hating them. Kim Jung Il and his ilk are wicked men, but remember that Jesus died for them.

We cannot excuse their sin. Sometimes society has to hold them in check and hold them accountable by waging war and even executing them. That should not keep us from praying for them. When they do die, while we can be relieved that society has been spared their ills, we can still sorrow for their eternal souls.

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