Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. 2 Chronicles 21:20
This is one of a handful of Bible verses I find heartbreaking. What was this king like that no one regretted his death? And then, to be so reviled he wasn’t buried with the other kings?
We learn more about Jehoram in the earlier verses of Chapter 21 of 2 Chronicles. He was more like his evil father-in-law, King Ahab than his own father, Jehoshaphat, who was a good king. His reign began with the execution all of his brothers. Then, he led Judah into idolatry by building altars of worship to the god Baal. The prophet Elijah foretold a horrible death for him which eventually came true. After he died, his people didn’t even give him an honorable burial.
Sad. Pitiful. Frightening.
There is much in the Bible about finishing well. Paul talks about fighting the good fight and running the race set before us (1 Timothy 6:12 and 2 Timothy 4:7). We are encouraged by the hope of hearing the Savior tell us “well done” after our life on this earth (Matthew 25:21 and Luke 19:17).
Most people want to live a life that matters, to finish well. We want to leave a legacy. It is unfathomable to think someone would want to pass away to no one’s regret.
I asked my good friend, Christi Haag, to share some insight on this idea of leaving a Godly legacy. Christi is a speaker with Women of Purpose Speak, a Bible study teacher and the wife of Jerry Haag, President of Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, Orphan’s Heart and The Porch Light. She is a dear friend and I value her spiritual wisdom.
Here’s what Christi has to share:
“If only”—two extremely powerful and potentially sad words. Many people get to the end of their lives and look back saying “if only”. To leave a Godly legacy, we must begin today making choices in our words and actions. Instead of “if only,” we should be saying, “today I will!”
Today I will:
- choose to love – I love the simplicity of Christ. In Matthew 22:36-40 we are told that the two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love Others.
- choose to forgive – We can live our whole lives choosing not to forgive others and sometimes ourselves. Colossians 3:13 tells us to forgive others just as Christ has forgiven us.
- choose to focus on relationships – One of satan’s greatest tools is to keep us offended. If he can keep us upset and focused on something that has offended us, he can keep us stagnant and looking back. Jesus wants to use us for His great Kingdom Work. He can’t use us if we are wound up choosing to be offended all of the time. God has great plans for our lives – “plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11.
We can be passive and get to the end of our lives, look back and think “if only” and possibly hear others say “He passed away to no one’s regret”. Or, we can say “today I will” and allow Christ to create a Godly legacy in and through us. Let “today I will” be your daily driving passion in order to live a legacy filled life!
Click here if you would like to find out more about, Christi. She’s pretty awesome! And she is definitely building a great legacy.