Jehu’s actions also initiated some drama in Judah. You’ll recall that Jehu also killed Ahaziah, the king of Judah. As Ahaziah’s wife, Queen Athaliah was apparently power hungry and without skipping a beat stepped into the leadership role of her deceased husband. So there would be no question, she made sure all her husband’s potential heirs to the throne were killed.
Little did she know her sister-in-law had taken her brother’s infant son, Joash, and stashed him safely away in the temple of the Lord. From the sounds of it, Athaliah was not the sort to be interested in spending time in the temple of the Lord. So the young boy was safe for the next six years.
Fast forward, we now have a young king Joash being installed by the priest, Jehoiada. The account of Jehoiada’s preparations to keep Joash safe and make for a smooth transition of the kingship is quite detailed. The revolt against Athaliah was to go off without a hitch and many guards were assembled. I couldn’t help but think of the security detail that surrounds leaders today.
Six years is a long time to keep a secret and keep a young child hidden. Little children like to play and wiggle and scream. I imagine young Joash’s upbringing would have included instruction in the ways of the LORD, so he’d be ready to be a clear-headed king devoted to the LORD. What a great set up for the next king of Judah!
Imagine what life had been like under this power-hungry queen. Clearly, the people were ready for a change. Can you just picture this scene in front of the people gathered by the temple that day? “Then Jehoiada brought out Joash, the king’s son, placed the crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God’s laws. They anointed him and proclaimed him king, and everyone clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”
Joash had been properly equipped with God’s laws from the beginning of his reign. Would a seven-year-old be ready to rule? God’s hand was at work in this transfer of power, and I would have to say that Joash would have everything he needed to be successful, including a great mentor in Jehoiada.
When God wants us to serve in a certain capacity we don’t feel ready for, he equips us. Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like, “don’t worry about the size of your challenge, focus on how big your God is.” It’s true. God is bigger than any of our problems. His power has parted seas and raised Jesus from the dead!
It’s easy to feel a bit distanced from the stories we read in the Old Testament. There is always a message for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal one for you today. For me, it’s that God’s protection is always there in one form or another, and being equipped with his word is all the ammunition I need to make a way in this crazy, mixed-up world.
Let’s pray …
Lord, I am feeling so grateful for the love you have for me. If you are for me, I don’t care who is against me. You will give me exactly the energy, resources, words, etc., that I need for each new day. Help me start and end each day with a moment of gratitude. I am nothing without you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.