Three More Kings: Jehoram, Ahaziah and Joash

2 Chronicles 21:4–20 – Jehoram
2 Chronicles 22:1–9 – Ahaziah
2 Chronicles 22:10–24:27 – Joash

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One Reply to “Three More Kings: Jehoram, Ahaziah and Joash”

  1. Jehoram’s reign as king of Judah was brief and tragic. “He put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel” (2 Chronicles 21:4) just after establishing himself as Jehoshaphat’s successor. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following Ahab’s example. Elijah even wrote him a prophetic letter (as opposed to risking a visit) and let him know that God was not pleased and his death, along with his family, was imminent. When he died as Elijah predicted, “His people made no funeral fire in his honor…he passed away to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings” (21:20).

    It is sad to read such an account, sad to hear how a man can abuse his position and the power endowed on him to such an evil end. Our days are so limited on this earth, so few years to actually make an impact when compared to eternity. If we would remember that from time to time, I hope we would humble ourselves before God and get to work loving God, loving others and sharing the same with all.

    Ahaziah, the only son left alive after the Arab invasion, was made king. Not surprisingly, “he too followed the ways of the house of Ahab” (22:3). Aligning himself with the evil house of Ahab, Ahaziah himself was killed by Jehu, “executing judgment on the house of Ahab” (22:8). A short reign of one year and Judah is no better off, still far from the Lord.

    The queen mother, Athaliah, reigned over Judah while Joash was hidden for six years by “Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada” (22:11). When the time for a coup was right, Jehoiada made a covenant with commanders of the area and put Joash in place as the proper king. “Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, ‘Long live the king!'” (23:11). Athaliah shouts “Treason! Treason!” (23:14), but is soon gathered by the troops and put to death. Joash was only seven years old when all this occurred (24:1). It was Jehoiada’s plan to restore Judah to serving the Lord (he was, after all, a priest). “Jehoiada then made a covenant that he, the people and the king would be the Lord’s people” (23:16). They tore down the temple of Baal, “they smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars” (23:17). The people rejoiced.

    Joash ruled for his 40 years and did well as long as Jehoiada lived. “Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen” (24:19). When Zechariah (son of Jehoiada) called them out, revealing their wickedness, Joash had him stoned in the courtyard. “King Joash did not remember the kindness of Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, ‘May the Lord see this and call you to account'” (24:22). Later, an invasion of Arameans left Joash wounded and some took advantage of the situation, “his officials conspired against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed” (24:25). Joash would have likely died as a result of his wounds, but killing him with a purpose ensured he would not die with honor. Joash was not buried in the tombs of the kings.

    Wise counsel is hard to come by, especially in these days of skepticism. Few people are truly able to separate their personal agendas from God’s purpose and plan. Lord, in this season you have place me in, let me learn this lesson well. I want only to serve you Lord, no others, no hidden agendas, no reason to breath except to reveal your purpose for this world. I am not worthy of such a calling, but I will do my little part with everything I have and with every breath I breathe. Teach me your ways Lord that I may show others. I do not need anything except to know that you are honored above all others. My reward is secured in heaven, that is enough for me. One thing I ask for is wisdom beyond my training, beyond my education. May the Lord be praised!

    I have to comment on “The Imitation Game” since we took Miranda and Alyssa to see this movie yesterday. The movie depicts the great challenge of breaking the Enigma code during World War II. The pivotal point in the movie was when they broke the code, when they were able to see before them the plans of the Nazi armies. Even though they knew what was happening, they couldn’t reveal this knowledge because the Germans would quickly deduce their Enigma code was broken. Those code-breakers, the MI-6 intelligence officers and all involved (more than five people as the movie would want us to believe), had to carefully plan counter attacks so as not to expose their knowledge. This meant many would die, though many would be saved in the long run. They would decide what intelligence to act on and what to simply let happen–a horrible position to be in.  The movie misses this key point and decides to focus on homosexuality and the guilt of shame imposed by England. But imagine the overwhelming responsibility placed on the code-breakers group. As we study the Old Testament, of kings and priests, of good and bad, help us to keep focused on the strategic plan, God’s perfect purpose that is way beyond the enigma of today. Lord keep us from being led down paths that are important, yet not the most important; that are good, but not the best. Give us proper discernment to play our parts in winning this war in the spiritual realms, a war we won’t ever truly see while here on earth.

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