You know it’s going to be a bad day when the Queen Mother starts a coup.
God had clearly warned Ahab and Jezebel that their sins were piling up and that they would one day come face to face with God’s justice. Despite God’s gracious warnings and miraculous works of the Prophets, the royal family continued their evil. In fulfillment of God’s word, a man named Jehu rebelled and started a bloody and violent campaign that led to the deaths of Ahab’s descendents including Joram, King of Israel and Ahaziah, King of Judah.
When King Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, learned that her son had been killed, she started a blood-fest of her own. She killed the royal heirs to secure her place on the throne and for six long and miserable years Athaliah carried out her wicked and unjust reign. The people suffered.
“When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family. – 2 Chronicles 22:10 (NLT)
Still, in the midst of these terrible times, a few people were carefully and methodically carrying out their faith in the best way they knew how. During the coup, King Ahaziah’s sister, Jehosheba, secretly snatched Joash, the infant prince, from the clutches of the murderous gangs. For six years, Jehosheba, and her husband Jehoida the Priest, hid the child and prepared for a day when justice could be restored.
In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoida decided that the time had come. Scripture says that he, “summoned his courage…” He made a pact with five army commanders and they all swore to support the young, but rightful, King. Then, in the fine tradition of the priesthood, the priests put their lives on the line for the King of Heaven and for their nation. In a show of unity, they led the people in defense of the new king. Jehoida ordered the Queen Mother killed for her crimes along with anyone who tried to defend her.
The faithfulness of Jehosheba and Jehoida yielded far more than simply the ascension of the rightful king. Their foster-parent relationship with the young child instilled in him the same faithfulness and love for God and His people. Because of this legacy, Joash overcame his wicked genealogy and became one of the greatest kings ever to rule over Judah.
Father, we thank You for faithful and courageous people. Thank You for those that are willing to stand for what is right and just, even when it threatens their lives and livelihoods. Thank You for those who are willing to hide, wait and prepare for the day when they can – and will – do what is necessary to save and deliver their friends and neighbors from the wickedness around them. Help us to be such people. Amen.