When Jehoshaphat died he chose his eldest son, Jehoram, to be king.  The first thing Jehoram did was kill all his brothers and others who threatened is position.  Then his epitaph is summed up in this one verse: “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”

The history of Israel is not glossed over. All the shameful deeds of the rulers were openly chronicled. Jehoram’s epitaph makes it clear why he failed.  He “walked in the way of the kings of Israel.” The key to understanding Israel’s failure was simple. It was moral compromise. David’s greatest failure was moral. Solomon’s greatest failure was compromising his morals because of his wives. Jehoram  took the daughter of the most wicked Queen of the North, Jezebel, and accepted her values.  This compromise ruined his life and destroyed his legacy. Verse 20 says, “He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one’s regret.  They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.”

Abraham Lincoln was a president under fire, especially during the scarring years of the Civil War. And though he knew he would make errors of office, he resolved never to compromise his integrity. So strong was this resolve that he once said, “I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.?”

In contrast to Jehoram, Abraham Lincoln left a nation grieving. His legacy is found in monuments and streets and statues around our great nation.  His grave is still honored today.

“In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5(NLT)