Athaliah (Southern Queen 6 years) & Joash (Southern King 41 years) Leaders & following God.
Reading 1: 2 Kings 11
Reading 2: 2 Chronicles 24
Reading 3: Deuteronomy 28:25-26
Today we turn back to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, which was the more spiritual originally, but has become increasingly ungodly. King Jehoram married the daughter of wicked king Ahab of Israel (her name was Athaliah) and he did evil in God’s sight. His reign ended in a lingering, painful sickness which killed him, to no-one’s regret (as we saw in the previous reading). Likewise his son Ahaziah followed in his father’s footsteps and did evil. All we know about him is that he was in alliance with his uncle Jehoram, King of Israel, and that he accompanied Jehoram to Jezreel to recuperate from battle wounds. It was there that Jehu came at the instruction of Elisha and killed all the descendants of Ahab (including the two kings).
So Jehu became king of Israel, and Judah had no king, so Athaliah (daughter of Ahab and the now-dead king’s mother) took the throne. She was as ungodly as those before her, indeed even more so, but thankfully Jehoida the High Priest hid Amaziah’s son Joash and trained him in God’s law before bringing him out and crowning him king.
So from this story we see that evil always brings pain and suffering, but God wants us to return to Him and will provide leaders to rescue us if we are willing. This has been the case throughout the history of God’s people, and it is still true today.
When godly leadership has the courage to stand (whether Jehoida or Joash) there is a time when that leadership is hidden, and a time when it is revealed. It is important not to be deceived into thinking that leadership always involves visibility or fame!
Joash, the young king, is a godly leader as long as his mentor Jehoida is around. After Jehoida’s death Joash is swayed by others into going away from God, and ultimately reaps the harvest of his sin through injury at the hands of his enemies, and murder at the hands of traitors within his royal court.
It doesn’t have to be that way – godly mentors and wise advisors guard us from error in our pursuit of God. Who do you have in your life to inspire you to make a difference for God? And how can you be that kind of influence to others?
Have a great day!