Text: 2 Chronicles 22:1-12 (KJV)
1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.
2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.
6 And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.
7 And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.
8 And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them.
9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.
10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.
11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.
12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
Key Verse: “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.” – (2 Chronicles 22:3)
Historians have noted that when great kingdoms of antiquity were about to collapse, key indicators of their imminent end were always the rapid succession of their rulers, corruption and palace unrest. The great Roman Empire is cited as an example. Royal dissension and broken military loyalties preceded the destruction of Rome which the invading barbarians exploited to finish the empire.
It was not different with the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Both had abandoned the tradition of allowing God to choose kings for them. The record in our reading says: “the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah… king.” They left God out of the scene. The wicked mothers of the day also wielded influence, dethroning and enthroning kings. They acted as counsellors of their children they installed as rulers.
One such woman was Athaliah. She was an evil authority on both her son, Ahaziah, and her husband, Jehoram. This allowed the unrighteous legacy of Ahab to continue to the third generation in Israel. Following her advice, King Ahaziah of Judah joined the northern kingdom to fight against Syria. When he went to visit the wounded king of Israel, the Lord used Jehu, the new ruler of Israel, to execute judgment on him. Seeing her son slain, Athaliah killed all the royal seed of David so she could be the sole ruler of Judah.
It was a plot to thwart God’s promise that David’s “throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). But God’s word cannot be voided by puny man. So He moved against Athaliah by letting another woman Jehoshabeath to hide Joash one of the king’s sons who escaped being slain. Athaliah reigned, but unknown to her, God had preserved a seed of David to perpetuate the Messianic dynasty according to prophecy. The Lord had the last laugh.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God sees the machinations of men, beating them at their own game.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Isaiah 51-55
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.
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