Highlights In Today's Reading:
A reminder that we reap what we sow. How sad to read the atrocities the kings commit. Read Elijah's letter (21:12-15). Some Israelites revolt (21:10-11). Jehoiada, the priest, is a hero, putting Joash, a descendant of David, on the throne (chap. 23) and later leading in the repair of the Temple (24:12-14).
During Jehoshaphat's reign, he maintained fellowship with the idol-worshiping, ungodly kings of the Northern Kingdom. Although it didn't seem to affect him personally, his evil associations caused his son to become a sinful leader. He could well have said: "I know God said we shouldn't have close association with unsaved people, but I don't let it affect me." However, it had a horrendous effect on his son, his son's wife, and his grandchildren. Without fail, we reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7).
After Jehoshophat's death, his son Jehoram began to reign. Jehoram had married Athaliah, the wicked daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, a result of the friendshp that Jehoshaphat had chosen with Ahab. When Jehoram took control of the kingdom, he destroyed all the godly influence of his father. With his wife's encouragement, Jehoram set up the evil worship practices of Jezebel; built altars to Baal and Asherah with their obscene, male prostitutes; and caused those in Jerusalem to commit fornication (II Chr. 21:5,11-13; II Kin. 8:16-18).
During that time Ahab's son Jehoram (Joram) was wounded in battle. While Jehoram was recovering from his wounds in Jezreel, Ahaziah went down to see him and both were slain by Jehu (II Chron. 22:5-9). Ahaziah was a mere puppet of the Queen Mother Athaliah during his short, one-year reign (22:3).
After the death of her son Ahaziah, Athaliah seized the rule of the kingdom of Judah and proclaimed herself queen. To make sure she had no competition, she murdered what she thought were all of David's descendants. But she missed one (22:10-12).
Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada the high priest, was used of God to save the one-year-old Joash from assassination. Joash was soon smuggled into the Temple where he was brought up under the care of Jehoshabeath and the high priest and trained and prepared for his destiny as king.
How tragic the story! Jehoshaphat never knew the misery that followed after he arranged the marriage of his son to Athaliah. Many a Christian father and mother have experienced the misery that results after a son or daughter has married an unsaved person.
But it is of utmost importance that we never underestimate the power of God to answer our prayers when evil circumstances are beyond our control. God had promised he will answer when we call (Ps. 91:15; Isa. 65:24; Jer. 33:3). God is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (Heb. 13:8) and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Eph. 3:20).
Thought for Today:
The way we live our lives as Christians has a far-reaching affect on those who are watching us, hoping to find a Christianity that really works (I Tim. 4:12).
By Jehoiada, the high priest, who faithfully hid and protected Joash (II Chr. 23:1-11). Jesus is our High Priest (Heb. 5:5-10) and we are hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).
21:9 compassed him in =b> surrounded him; 21:19 of sore diseases =b> in severe suffering; no burning for him =b> no funeral fire to honor him; 22:10 seed royal =b> royal offspring of the house of David; 23:9 bucklers =b> small shields; 23:14 Have her forth of the ranges =b> take her outside beyond the Temple under guard; 24:13 in his state =b> in its original condition; 24:25 great diseases =b> intense suffering.
Pray for Arabic International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Helen A. Porter • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (CT) • Country: Namibia (1.6 million) in southwest Africa • Major languages: Afrikaans and German • Religious freedom • 89% Christian; 10% Traditional; 1% Other (Muslim, Jewish, Baha'i) • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for the power of His Word (Heb. 4:12).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 14
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:32