|Chart of the Kings||King Jehoram of Judah - Biography||God's Judgment Regarding King Jehoram of Judah|
|Previous King: Jehoshaphat||Next King: Ahaziah|
King Jehoram, son and successor of the godly King Jehoshaphat, must be remembered as one of the most decidedly wicked kings in Judah's history. Before becoming king, he was married to Athaliah, daughter of Israel's King Ahab. She was an evil woman who influenced Jehoram to reject the LORD and practice evil. Early in his reign Jehoram murdered his six brothers and some others he considered rivals. Later when Jehoram's son and successor died, his widow Athaliah committed the same crime, murdering all Jehoram's heirs to make herself sovereign.
During Jehoram's eight years as king, he abandoned the LORD and ruled sinfully, as Ahab and the other kings of Israel had done, and sponsored false religions as they had.
In consequence of his evil deeds, Jehoram faced two rebellions. First Edom, previously a vassal state, rebelled and achieved their independence. Trying to suppress the revolt, Jehoram was surrounded and narrowly escaped being killed. Later Libnah, a well fortified city in Judah near the Philistine border, declared their independence and seceded.
Because of Jehoram's commitment to sin, especially idolatry and the murder of his brothers, the prophet Elijah sent him a letter stating that the LORD would strike a heavy blow against his family, and that he himself would die a painful death from a lingering disease.
Soon after, Judah was invaded by enemies. They plundered the king's palace, and took his wives and sons away, later killing them. Of his sons, only the youngest, Ahaziah, escaped. Queen Athaliah must have somehow escaped too, since she figures into the later narrative. Then Jehoram contracted a fatal disease, causing intense pain for two years, after which he died, to no one's regret. There was no state funeral, and he was buried in a commoner's grave, apart from the royal family.Where to read Jehoram's story: 2 Kings 8:16-24; 2 Chronicles 21
Jehoram's father, godly King Jehoshaphat, arranged a marriage between Jehoram and Israel's Princess Athaliah. Any alliance between good and evil is repugnant to God, and this marriage was no exception. Jehoshaphat knew better, but arranged the marriage anyway, to gain a political advantage. Justice being what it is, Jehoshaphat suffered no evil effects from the marriage, but his descendents did under his wife's evil influence, Jehoram murdered his brothers; with the kingdom weakened by idol worship, enemies murdered Jehoram's sons; upon Jehoram's death, Athaliah murdered more of Jehoram's sons, and Jehu killed still more.
Our sins may not bring immediate consequences to us, but our children are almost certain to suffer for our sinful choices. If we love our children, how can we justify our sins?