Daily Bible Radio

Holiness and the Economy

2 Chronicles 21:1-7 :

Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in David’s city, and Jehoram his son reigned in his place. He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. Their father gave them great gifts of silver, of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn. Now when Jehoram had risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did Ahab’s house; for he had Ahab’s daughter as his wife. He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight. However Yahweh would not destroy David’s house, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always.

Can you imagine the shock that it must have been to the people when Jehoshaphat's first son, appointed by Jehoshaphat himself, murdered his own brothers? This demonstrated a great hatred of his father and his father's God. In such a short time, Jehoram eliminated what his father carefully and lovingly produced. It must have been frightening to the people to realize that this was the kind of king that now had power over them.

One thing that God makes sure we know, here, is that Jehoram married the daughter of the wicked king Ahab. Scholars say that at that time in history, this kind of marriage would have been arranged by the father. This woman may have been the worst women ever to rule in Israel, other than her own mother Jezebel. Jehoshaphat demonstrates why holiness is so important by his failure. When we fail to live holy lives and try to mix in with the world, we tear down all the good we attempt to construct. A lack of holiness can have horrible consequences in an economy. God shows us by this example that the two go together. There is actually a clear link between holiness and the economy. Wicked people tend to protect themselves at the expense of everyone else, even if that means killing their own economy. Not separating from them gives them a way to gain power over the good that you once had control of.

God's love for us is shown in this passage, too. Even though this man became so wicked, God refused to destroy him. God had promised to bring salvation to the world through this man's offspring. This evil man was one Jesus' ancestors. See Matthew 1:8. Once again, God's patience with Jesus' ancestors, demonstrates His patience with all of humanity. It is also a demonstration of God's honesty. He will never lie about anything no matter how miserable things get for Him.

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