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Youthful Debasement Youthful Debasement

Youthful Debasement


Saddam Hussein, shortly after seizing power in Iraq in July 1979, joined with ruling elite members of the Ba’ath Party to execute 22 people who had opposed his ascent to power. The Ba’ath Party Purge violently removed any competition to Hussein’s rule.

Hussein was following in the footsteps of a host of rulers throughout world history. That list includes King Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat. At age 32, Jehoram’s youthful choice to walk in the ways of wickedness colored the full tenure of his reign.

As the rightful, firstborn heir of the kingdom, Jehoram easily could have chosen to live at peace with his brothers, who had inherited far less than him and had far less power than him. But being insecure, he saw his siblings as potential rivals rather than as supporters (v. 4). Jehoram’s act of fratricide led to judgment from God that included war, destruction of his household, and his own excruciatingly painful and prolonged suffering (vv. 12–14).

The root cause of all this suffering was Jehoram’s spiritual choice to do evil like King Ahab rather than follow the Lord like King David (v. 6). Every word of judgment that God had promised through the prophet Elijah was fulfilled. Eight years later, Jehoram was dead—“to no one’s regret” (v. 20).

Jehoram had everything going for him: a godly heritage, a nation at peace, an extended family, and all the material advantages anyone could want. But none of that could save him from the consequences of his choice to pursue the path of sinfulness. We must never put our trust in God’s blessings and gifts and ignore the Lord, the Giver of all. Only faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, will save us from our sins.

Pray with Us

Would you encourage in prayer Janet Stiven, VP and general counsel, and her team in the Legal department? We are grateful for legal expertise of this team and ask God to give them favor with every department and organization they interact.

BY Dr. Eric C. Redmond

Dr. Eric C. Redmond serves as a professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and as associate pastor of adult ministries at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, Ill. He is married to Pam and they have five children. He is the author of Say It!  Celebrating Expository Preaching in the African American Tradition (Moody Publishers), Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's’ Questions about the Church (Crossway), a commentary on Jonah in the Christ-Centered Exposition Series (B&H Publishers), and a study guide on Ephesians in the Knowing the Bible series (Crossway).

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