Summary: Kings of Judah, Pt 4
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD (2 CHRONICLES 22:10-24:27)
I enjoy reading bumper stickers on cars and one caught my attention more than most. It was on the back of a car that was in front of me at a red traffic light. The “Dear God” beginning made me curious and I read the rest before the light turned green and car sped away.
The first line on the bumper sticker was direct and challenging. It says, “Dear God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools? Signed, A concerned student.”
On the second line was a thought-provoking and eye-catching answer. It says, “Dear concerned student, I am not allowed in schools. Signed, God.”
Judah had a taste of what the kingdom was like under the evil queen Athaliah. After the excellent king Jehoshaphat’s death, his son Jehoram, the fifth king of Judah, succeeded him, with queen Athaliah by the new king’s side. Jehoram reigned for eight years and upon the unpopular king’s death (2 Chron 21:10) his son Ahaziah, the sixth king, inherited the throne, with mom pulling the strings and encouraging him to evil (2 Chron 22:2-3). When Ahaziah died a year after coronation, Athaliah seized the throne for herself and murdered all the royal babies except one who escaped and survived. Into such a family was the escapee Joash born, but he had help, the most sacrificial kind.
What if life throws you a lemon? What if life throws you a sucker punch? What if the world around you collapses? How do you respond if others around you are selfish, uncaring and ambitious?
Repair The Emotional Damage
10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him. 12 He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land. 23:1 In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He made a covenant with the commanders of units of a hundred: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. 2 They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem, 3 the whole assembly made a covenant with the king at the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the LORD promised concerning the descendants of David. (2 Chron 22:10-23:4)
A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote: “I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?”
An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, “I’ve been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I’ve never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I’ve never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I’ve never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here, too.”
There is no limit to the evil that men do, including to their kin.
Joash was the eighth king of the southern Judah, the third good king of Judah, and the only surviving son of the short-lived King Ahaziah. He lived in a time of turmoil, betrayal and insanity. Sadly, the most bloodthirsty person in the land was his own grandmother, and she wanted the throne for herself. Joash’s grandparents, the royal couple of Jehoram and Athaliah, were one of the most ruthless couples in the Bible and the equal to Ahab and Jezebel in the north, because Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. To the couple, ambition was thicker than blood. After Jehoram, Athaliah’s husband, succeeded his father, King Jehoshaphat, he murdered all his brothers and rivals to the throne (2 Chron 21:4). When her son Ahaziah died after a year’s reign, Athaliah attempted to kill all her grandchildren, including Joash, in a coup; she reigned six years. Joash, who was born at about the time of his father’s coronation, escaped the massacre, saved by his aunt Jehosheba, his father’s sister, and her husband, the high priest Jehoiada (2 Kings 1210).