Online Bible Commentary
Is There Still Hope for America?
2 Chronicles 21:1 Then Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the City of David. And Jehoram his son succeeded him as king. 2 Jehoram's brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 Their father had given them many gifts of silver and gold and articles of value, as well as fortified cities in Judah, but he had given the kingdom to Jehoram because he was his firstborn son. 4 When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father's kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 6 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 7Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever. (NIV)
King Jehoshaphat of Judah had walked in the ways of the Lord. However, he was not perfect. On at least two occasions he had allied Judah with evil countries, and was punished by God. Also, some of his people still worshiped idols at the time of his death.
Jehoram, the eldest son, was appointed successor to the throne by Jehoshaphat prior to his death. His father left him a rich and strong kingdom (vv.1-3).
But Jehoram then betrayed his father when, as one of his first acts as king, he put to death his six brothers, along with some of the princes of Judah (v.4). He was a weak king and allowed himself to come under the influence of his evil wife.
Jehoram had married Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab of the northern kingdom, Israel. Ahab was also a weak king and had allowed his wife, Jezebel, to institute Baal worship in Israel. Athaliah also established Baal worship as the religion of the land in Judah. So, at this point in history, both the north and south kingdoms that were once under the rule of David had turned their backs on the God of the Bible.
So, Jehoram “did evil in the eyes of the LORD” (v.6). God punished Jehoram and Judah. Jehoram’s short eight year reign was full of defeats and loss. The Philistines and Arabs invaded and killed, or carried off, his wife and all of his children but one. They plundered all his treasures, also. Later Jehoram died of a terrible disease.
This was not the first time that both kingdoms had worshiped idols instead of God. God had been very patient with them. He could have given both kingdoms over to foreign rulers for good. But David had built up so much equity with God that He “was not willing to destroy the house of David” (v.7).
In applying this passage to us today, I see reasons for hope for America. There is no doubt that the United States has been a shining example of a country that has followed the God of the Bible since its inception two hundred and forty years ago, yesterday. In return, God has blessed the United States perhaps more so than any other country in modern history.
At this time in our history, however, we are no longer that shining example. Sin, especially abortion and sexual sin, run rampant in this once great nation. We have murdered almost sixty million babies by abortion since 1973, almost twenty percent of our population.
We have stained the sanctity of God’s marriage by recognizing as “marriage” what the Bible calls “sexual perversion” (Ro.1:27). An immoral president and our judges, once considered Godly, have made this perversion the law of the land.
The people have not been allowed to voice their vote on either of these two important issues. Democracy has been suspended when it comes to determining the morality of our nation.
But the good news is that America, like David, has built up a lot of equity with God. America has honored God over the years and has helped many nations and millions of people around the world.
We have spread the gospel not only in our own land but around the world. And our government has not only given billions of dollars in foreign aid, but also many charities in America have helped the people of the world.
So it is encouraging to read how God does not just look at the present evil, but He also looks at the good that was done in the past. It is for this reason that I see hope for our country. May God continue to bless the United States of America, and I pray that we turn back to Him soon.