“Moreover he (Jehoram) made high places in the hill country of Judah, and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem into unfaithfulness, and made Judah go astray. A letter came to him from the prophet Elijah, saying: ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David: Because you have not walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or in the ways of King Asa of Judah, but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into unfaithfulness, as the house of Ahab led Israel into unfaithfulness, and because you also have killed your bothers, members of your father’s house, who were better than yourself, see, the LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, and you yourself will have a serve sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out, day after day, because of the disease.” 2 Chronicles 21:11-15
Sin is a powerful thing! The sins I commit not only separate me from God but separate my wife, children, grandchildren, friends, neighbors, and community from God. God kindles anger against me for my sins and against those close to me, just because they are close – not that they participated. How much better to love God first? To love others as God loves me so that they will walk in His ways, not the ways of sin. If I love my family, why would I choose to cause them harm? To be sick with disease for years and die a slow agonizing death? Why didn’t Jehoram follow in his father’s (Jehoshaphat) early footsteps? “He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD.” (2 Chon 20:32) Sounds great but read on, “Yet the high places were not removed; the people had not yet set their hearts upon the God of their ancestors.” (2 Chron 20:33) Fathers, spiritual leaders of your homes, pay attention! High places are a distraction; they turn our focus from God – creating idols. See yesterdays’ comment – “Interesting that the Chronicler says what he does in verses 31-34, before Jehoshaphat dies. What follows is a turning from God – Jehoshaphat’s spiritual death. A cautionary statement for all – tear down, completely destroy the high places in one’s life! Leaving them up possibly leads to temptation and turning away from God and turning to someone or something else. Ultimately, God wrecks the dreams that are not of His authorship. O God that I remain faithful, each and every moment of every day!” Cautionary statement continued – tear down and completely destroy the high place in your life – for your family, friends, and community’s sake!