Even though Jehoshaphat was a good king his affiliation with the wicked ruler of Israel, Ahab, led first to intermarriage with Ahab's family and finally to the death of six of Jehoshaphat's sons and others in line to the throne at the hand of Jehoshaphat's eldest son and heir, Jehoram.
Jehoram was so evil that the prophet Elijah, who usually confined his ministry to the northern kingdom of Israel wrote a letter to the ruler of the southern kingdom. What a dark time for the nation of Judah! They did not mourn him or bury him in the tombs of the kings when he died after reigning eight years.
Does God issue any commands?
- It isn't said that God told Elijah to write a letter to Jehoram but since Elijah had a message to deliver it seems likely that God told him to write.
Does God make any promises?
- As bad as Jehoram was, God would not destroy the ruling family of David because of the promise God had made David. (Here's an interesting thought: Why not destroy this dynasty in spite of the promise? After all, David had been dead for many years and wouldn't know, would he? Well, yes, he would. As Jesus told the Sadducees, God is the God of the living, not the dead. David's body was in the grave - see verse 1 - but his soul and spirit were still alive and well in the safe keeping of his God until the time of his body's resurrection. God does keep His promises even when the person to whom He made the promise has departed this life.)
- In his letter to Jehoram, Elijah said that God would strike Jehoram with a great sickness in his bowels that would afflict him until his death. The LORD would also punish the people, and Jehoram's family because they followed Jehoram in acts of fornication.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- In spite of the wickedness of the descendants of David God kept His promise. The ultimate fulfillment of the promise is in the person of Jesus Christ.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
Not that I identified.