What If We Died and No One Was Sorry?

from Lynda Lindsey

Johoram was thirty-two yers 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. II Chronicles 21:20

Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet, which said: “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: ‘You have not walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah. But you have walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and you have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, just as the house of Ahab did. You have also murdered your own brothers…men who were better than you. So now the Lord is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow.’” II Chronicles 21:12-14

The saddest inditement…to pass away to no one’s regret. To think that no one would be sorry to hear of our death is a deplorable state of affairs. King Johoram of Judah was such a man. He passed away to no one’s regret. While he was buried in Jerusalem, he did not receive the honor of being laid to rest with the righteous in the tombs of the kings, nor was a fire made in his honor, as was customary to honor an esteemed ruler. Johoram’s reign was marred by sin and great evil. He married a daughter of King Ahab; she brought great wickedness into Judah, causing people to turn to idol worship. Johoram even murdered all his own brothers, as well as other national leaders, in his bid for total power and control. 

While Johoram wasn’t the first, nor the last evil king and murderer, it’s telling that no one was at all sorry when he died.  Standing in stark contrast to Johoram’s situation is the public outpouring of grief and loss when the beloved spiritual leader Billy Graham died. Condolences poured in from all around the world. People from many nations recounted their interaction with and love for the esteemed evangelist. Billy Graham, humble, sincere, genuine, speaking simple truth regarding life everlasting, contrasted with a murderer, a wicked and evil man who led others into terrible depravity. What a difference! 

What to do? Love the Lord God. Live well. Walk humbly. Speak truth. Be sincere. Model authenticity. Walk in the way of the Lord. Renounce sin. Forsake ungodly advice. Know and apply Scripture. Pray. Live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Reject selfishness; live for others. Proclaim the Good News. In season and out; when it’s convenient and when it’s not. By so doing we ensure that upon death, we will be missed. It’s worth thinking about.