Monday, April 18, 2011
There are some very wonderful and fulfilling stories in the Old Testament and some not so wonderful ones. I have been asked in the past why I spend so much time reading the Old Testament because the New Testament gives us all the hope we need to live in fellowship with the Lord. Part of the answer centers on reading the bible which has the Old and New Testaments. The other part of the answer involves my desire to meditate on the lives of people in the past who had or didn’t have a relationship with God and the effects of their connection with God on the experience and situations that they met. I continue to gain insight into choices that people make and the consequences they experience. After all, every choice that we make has a result attached to it. If we make good choices, there are good consequences. If we choose unwisely, we experience negative consequences. it is one of the most important message that we need to teach to our teenagers. Every choice has a consequence.
There is truly a sad commentary of a person in the Old Testament that caused me to ponder my life today. It is a story of Jehoram, a son of Jehoshaphat, who became king at the age of 32 in place of his dad who died and reigned 8 years (II Chron. 21). He had no connection with his family, especially all of his brothers. He killed all of his brothers with the sword. He also put to death some of the officials of Israel. He quit following the ways of the godly kings before him. Even after being warned by Elijah the prophet about his destructive choices, he didn’t listen or turn from his evil ways. Terrible consequences ensued. All of his sons, his wives and everything he owned were killed or taken away, except for his youngest son. He developed a disease in his bowels and they came out (sorry about the vivid picture) and he died in great pain.
The final result of Jehoram was that he died with even a more depressive commentary. It said, “His people made no funeral fire in his honor as they had for his predecessors. He died at 40 to no one’s regret.” (II Chron 21:19-20). No one regreted his death. I can almost imagine that no one came to his funeral. His legacy truly impacted no one. Nothing of what he did was carried into the future, because he had no connection with anyone here on the earth. What a sad and depressing commentary.
As I ponder on Jehoram’s life, I truly don’t want that to be said of me. That means that my (our) choices do have long-term consequences as we travel on this life journey. What about your legacy? What about your choices? This journey and the steps we take daily do create the legacy for future generations. Choose wisely.