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Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION: “Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. There were no tears shed when he died - it was good riddance! 2 Chronicles 21:20 (The Message Bible)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: This text focuses on a King of Judah whose life meant so little to the people around him that no one mourned him when he died. The primary focus is on King Jehoram of Judah who was, by all definitions, a vicious man who killed his brothers when he became king. He was extremely cruel, insensitive, ruthless and murderous. He cared little for others and only about perpetuating himself. He is described as a king who walked in the way of the house of Ahab, that idolatrous bloody house; for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife.

After Jehoram became king he was attacked by many of the nation’s surrounding him and because of a lack of coalitions and friendships in the community of nations, was regularly invaded and he lost much of possessions and territories. The resources of the nation were depleted frequently and the people quickly grew to dislike him. 2 Chronicles 21:6 gives Jehoram this short and tragic epitaph, "He did evil in the sight of the LORD." His reign was so evil, self-serving and narcissistic that the prophet Elijah sent him a letter just before his assent to heaven in a chariot, denouncing him prophesying that God would punish him with a disease that would kill him. The prophesy was fulfilled and king Jehoram died. No one missed him when he died. The text declared that he "departed without being desired" (KJV). He was not even given a respectable king's burial.

ACTION POINT: How important are you to the life of your family? Your church? Your community? Our importance is measured in relationship to the service that we render to others; if we are disconnected, live for ourselves and care little about the welfare of those around us, then our existence is of little importance to anyone. If we cease to connect only a few would notice; some would exclaim, "Is he still around; I thought she had moved out of town." I’m reminded of story of a man who had a conversation with his friend and said that his oldest brother had died. His friend expressed surprise and apologized because he had not heard. The man said, "Don't be sorry. We didn't announce to anybody, nobody came to his funeral, nobody cared about him because he didn't care about anybody." It's unsettling, but it is true; there are some who care little about others and others care less about them.

There are some who are missed when they are absent, but not fondly missed. The student in the class that disrupts it every day is missed when he's absent, but not fondly missed. The heckler in the crowd that follows a speaker from one appearance to another, is missed when he's absent, but not fondly missed. The church hell raiser who raises hell about everything is missed when he or she is absent from a business meeting, but not fondly missed. Gossips, backbiters and haters are missed when they are not around, but not fondly missed. We are important to our families and extended community when our relationship renders a noticeable benefit that is recognized and acknowledged. That's the key to being fondly missed: relate to others in such a way that your presence is deemed beneficial and necessary. It's the kind of service that elicits the words, "We sure do miss her" or "What are we going to do without him?"

What if God didn't show up for us one day this week? What would we do? Would he be missed? Would we miss his protection? Would we miss his blessing? Would we missed the inspiration we get from him? What's the flip side? Do we praise God enough for him to miss us? Do we give enough for Him to notice if we don't? Do we serve others in His name in a way that would noticeable if we stopped?

Our objective should be to live lives that matter to God, our families and the community around us. The crossing guard who smiles every morning and cheers the children, will be missed. The teacher who inspires children to learn more, will be missed. The church member who renders service in one ministry or another, will be missed. What we do for God and others does not have to be big, but it must be enough to matter to someone, to register on the goodwill meter. As Christians, we know God knows everything about every one of us. He is aware of all that we do and say. Let's live in such a way that what we do and say is recorded in heaven and fondly missed whenever we can't serve any longer.

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