2 Chronicles 21 tells the sad tale of Jehoram, king of Judah. His father was Jehoshaphat, his grandfather Asa. Both were men who the Bible says did what was right in the sight of God. Unfortunately, Jehoram did not follow in their footsteps. He began to reign at the age of 32, and the first thing he did was kill all his brethren. Then he went and married the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, Athaliah (she took the throne when hubby Jehoram died and tried to kill all other heirs to the throne, including their own children). He forsook the God of his fathers, worshipped other gods in the high places, and promoted immorality.
Obviously, the Lord was not happy with this king. He sent Elijah to go and deliver a message, Thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day. Now, I'm not sure exactly what that means or how it happened, but there's no doubt in my mind it was quite a painful and uncomfortable situation. Sure enough, it came to pass, and king Jehoram suffered for 2 years before he died of sore diseases.
Verse 20 of 2 Chronicles 21 is the verse that caught my attention. It says, Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchers of the kings.
Jehoram departed without being desired. Sounds like no one cried at his funeral. Sounds like they didn't even care to give him a proper burial but knew they were obligated to do so.
In all we read of king Jehoram, it's obvious that he was the most important person in his life. It's obvious that he poured his life into himself. It's obvious that his own good and well being was THE driving force of his life. Then at the end, God smote him with an incurable disease, and it doesn't look like there was anybody in all Judah who felt sorry for him.
The point that the Lord directed my attention to is simple. Man's problem is his short-sightedness. He cannot see past the moment. When people act in their own self interest, as many people do, it actually turns out worse for them in the long run. But when people act out of care and concern for others, in the long run, they're blessed and happy because of it. Our problem is we just can't see that. Maybe that's why the Lord encourages us just to take his word for it.
So, is your life driven by self interest of others' benefit? Is your life directed by self interest or God's glory? Live for self, and you run the risk of departing without being desired. Live for others and the glory of God, and you get to enjoy life more abundant through Jesus Christ. Shouldn't be a touch choice to make. Hope you make the right one.