June 18, 2014 - A Salute to the Just
By Verna B. Flower
The Bible gives some classic examples of how not to live one's life. Although the Word of God is basically positive, there are instances when it gives a strong negative emphasis to accomplish its purpose.
Note the life of Jehoram. He lived sinfully and selfishly. At his command all his brothers were slain. Because he led the kingdom of Judah into idolatry, God's judgment came upon him in the form of a painful disease from which he suffered for two years. He died at 40, and this epitaph reveals much about his life: "He reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired" (2 Chronicles 21:20). His subjects thought so little of him that he was not accorded burial in the sepulchers of the kings.
His story is a warning. Jehoram had every advantage. His godly father, Jehoshaphat, set a good example. The nation was enjoying peace; surrounding nations had been subdued. The stage was set for Jehoram to become a great king and bring even greater blessing to Judah. But he destroyed it all by his wickedness. And his example spilled more wickedness into the land during the reign of his one remaining son (the others all met death at the hand of enemies) until he was slain at the end of one year.
"He departed without being desired" is hardly an epitaph to strive for.
Another verse of Scripture can become the epitaph of a dedicated Christian. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18).
— "A Salute to the Just" originally appeared in the November 26, 1967, Pentecostal Evangel.
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