Yawheh Has Given.
“Joash remained hidden in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.” – 2 Chronicles 22:12 NLT
It would be easy to read the story of the kings of Judah and Israel and become disheartened by all the treachery, idolatry, murder, and unfaithfulness. It seems with each passing chapter, the kings get worse and the story gets more depressing. Each king seems to take the sins of his predecessor one step farther. Even in chapter 22 of 2 Chronicles we see Ahaziah, the king of Judah destroyed by God for his sins. We also read of the destruction of Joram, king of Israel at the hands of Jehu, a man appointed by God for that duty. God seems to be cleaning house. But at the same time, God is preparing the way for Him to keep the covenant He had made with Israel through David – a promise that would ultimately be fulfilled through a descendant of David – Jesus Christ. But for that to happen, the line of David had to be preserved. And in this story we see God intervene and provide salvation and deliverance in a way that is eerily reminiscent of how He did it back in the days of Moses.
It seems that after Ahaziah is killed by Jehu, Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah determines to make herself the queen of Judah. After all, she had essentially been running the nation when Ahaziah was alive, providing him with wicked counsel. So when he died, she promptly had all the royal offspring of Ahaziah murdered. In other words, she killed all her own grandchildren! This woman made Jezebel look like Mary Poppins. But remember, Ahaziah is off the line of David. His children would be required to keep that line alive. If Athaliah was allowed to destroy them, God’s plan and promise would be thwarted. But God had another idea. He did something He had done before and would do again. He spared the life of one child so that He could be the savior of others. When news of Athaliah’s plot to kill all the children of Ahaziah gets out, a nurse made takes Joash and hides him in the temple of God. Then Jehoida, the high priest, comes up with a plan to provide him with around-the-clock protection using Levites and priests as the armed guards. Then six years later, they would take Joash and anoint him king of Judah.
Jehoida the high priest not only provided protection for the king, he destroyed Athaliah and began a campaign to restore the worship of Yahweh in Judah. After Joash was crowned as the only living member of David’s line, Jehoida renews the covenant between God, the king, and the nation. Then he has the temple and priest of Baal destroyed. He also reinstituted the sacrificial system and the Levitical priesthood. He helped prepare the people of Judah for the reign on Joash. But God was behind it all. He had helped spare the life of this one child, much like He had spared the life of Moses and He would spare the life of Jesus in years to come. Joash would become a savior of the people of Judah, much like Moses had been and Jesus would ultimately be. As we will see in the following chapters, Joash would live up to his name, “Yahweh has given,” because he would be a man who followed after God and would do what was right in the sight of the Lord. He would be a breath of fresh air in the stench that surrounded the people of God in those days. Through Joash God was giving the people a respite from the sin and rebellion. Joash would be a light in the darkness. He would act as God’s deliverer for forty years. Even in the midst of all the sin and suffering, God would deliver. He would provide a savior. Not because the people deserved it, but because He is faithful to keep His promises. What a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us expressed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God provided a light in the darkness. In the midst of despair, God provided hope and a way of deliverance. He is faithful. He has given.
Father, thank You for the story of Joash. It is a reminder of just how good and gracious You are and always have been. You always provide a way out. You are the deliverer. You are always saving and providing a way of escape. And You always keep Your promises. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men