Read II Kings 11 -- 13
When Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel, received word that her son, King Ahaziah, was dead, she seized the throne of Judah and proclaimed herself queen. To make sure she had no competition, she murdered her own grandsons. She thought she had killed the entire royal family of David's descendants (II Kings 11:1; II Chronicles 22:10).
However, God intervened and saved the helpless, one-year-old Joash (Jehoash), the sole link that preserved the dynasty of David and the very lineage of Jesus Christ as prophesied, from being killed (II Kings 11:2-3; II Chronicles 22:11-12). Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada the high priest, was used of God to hide her infant nephew Joash from Athaliah's wholesale assassination. Joash was hid with her in the House of the Lord six years. And Athaliah reigned over the land (II Kings 11:3). Never underestimate the power of God to protect His children, even when they appear to be victims of evil circumstances beyond their control.
During the time Joash was in the care of Jehosheba, her husband Jehoiada the high priest prepared him for his destiny. Joash was about seven years old when Jehoiada brought forth the king's son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the Testimony, (a copy of the Mosaic Law); they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king (11:12). The excited shouts caught the attention of Athaliah, who ran into the Temple court just in time to hear Jehoiada the high priest command the captains of the guard to execute her. Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, which resulted in the destruction of the Baal temple and execution of its chief priest Mattan (11:17-18).
Jehoash (Joash) did right in the sight of the Lord all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him (12:2; II Chronicles 24:2). But, following the death of Jehoiada, Joash eventually left the House of the Lord . . . and served groves and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass. . . . And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest . . . who said unto them . . . Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you (24:17-18,20). Instead of repenting, the king wickedly had the prophet-priest murdered. Soon after this, Hazael King of Syria . . . set his face to go up to Jerusalem (II Kings 12:17). The Lord delivered a very great host into their hands, because Joash and the Kingdom of Judah had forsaken the Lord (II Chronicles 24:24).
Joash was then forced to give Hazael all the treasures from the palace and the Temple. Angered over his killing Zechariah, Joash's servants . . . slew Joash (II Kings 12:20; II Chronicles 24:25). The account of Joash illustrates that to forsake the Word of God results in untold miseries: The wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (hinder) the truth in (because of their) unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
Christ Portrayed: By Jehoiada, who protected Joash and, in holy judgment, had Athaliah slain (II Kings 11:4-16). Christ keeps us safe and will return to pronounce judgment on these living in sin (John 10:29; Revelation 20:15).
Word Studies: 11:7 two parts means two companies; 11:8 compass means surround; 12:5 breaches means the damaged places; 12:11 laid it out means paid it out; 13:6 grove means the place of worship to the goddess Ashtaroth.
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Optional Reading: Romans 8
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:16