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.
This is one of those Bible passages that really excites me. I love when the power of God is recognized and applauded. Our previous readings have been building up to this moment of triumph! I almost get giddy with joy at how Ahab and the prophets of Baal must be feeling.
I don’t imagine Elijah will gloat because it was not his power at work. He has to be even more in love with the LORD. If I were him, I would be overcome with the honor and privilege of bringing this message to the Israelites.
King Ahab has been searching for Elijah all this time. Elijah has been kept safe by the LORD, who now sends Elijah out. If Elijah was at all fearful to meet King Ahab, his boldness seems to cover that well.
Elijah encounters another believer in Obadiah. Obadiah wants his allegiance to be clear. Yet, he also reveals to us his own fearfulness to bring King Ahab the news of Elijah’s presence. He fears for his life. Is King Ahab really that ruthless?
This passage really makes us think about the people God uses to complete his plans. He is raising up Hadad the Edomite and Rezon son of Eliada. It was helpful to have the background stories for these individuals. They are certainly not “household names” that we are familiar with.
God’s plan was to bring adversaries into Solomon’s life. We’ll see how all of that plays out. In our last reading, we were told that God was going to rip the kingdom away from Solomon’s son, who would be King David’s grandson. Because of his promise to David, he will let the grandson remain in power, but he will split the kingdom in two.
We continue to witness history being made as Solomon, in front of all Israel, prays this dedication. I love the clues we can get from this prayer for our own prayer life. Solomon says, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below.”
Did you notice how he starts out this prayer? Solomon speaks to God with admiration and awe. Wouldn’t you agree this is a great way to start a prayer? Get our hearts and mind straight on the truth. It will also get God’s attention!