I started dieting on May 15, 2020. I have lost 4 pounds since beginning this journey. Today I spent over fifteen hours updating three of my websites. I got carried away and did not eat at my regular times. I had some snacks but did not record my calories. I did not keep my food diary either. I spent most of the day working on this…
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Here is a list of key people found in today’s reading (in order of appearance) with bios from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Jehoram of Judah. The fifth king of Judah, and the son of king Jehoshaphat. He took the throne at the age of 32 and reigned for 8 years (2 Kings 8:17, 2 Chronicles 21:20), although he was ill during his last two years (2 Chronicles 21:18-19).
- Jehu. The son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.
- Ahaziah. Youngest son of Jehoram.
- Athaliah. A daughter of Ahab and the mother of Ahaziah – son of Jehoram.
- Jehoshabeath. A daughter of Jehoram, former the King of Judah – the sister of Ahaziah and wife of Jehoiada.
- Jehoiada. A priest. The husband of Jehoshabeath.
- Zibiah. The mother of King Joash – son of Ahaziah.
No self-respecting person wants to admit that he would “sell his own soul” for the right price. Yet to God when one is “sold out” to sin, it is the same difference between holy and unholy. What good would it be to have the wealth of Kings and live a life such that no one would even miss you if you were gone? That is exactly what happened to Jehoram in today’s reading.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat in Judah
Jehoram became King of Judah at age 32, following the death of his father Jehoshaphat, who was King of Israel. Jehoram was the first of six brothers born to his father. His brothers’ names were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael, and Shephatiah.
3 Their father gave them many gifts of silver, gold, and valuable things, in addition to fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn. II Chronicles 21:3 AMP
After securing his throne, Jehoram sought to destroy any possible threats to his reign. He did so by a bloody massacre, killing all six of his brothers and some leaders who were in Israel.
Jehoram reigned for eight years. He was married to the daughter of Ahab and was as wicked as his father-in-law. Jehoram made the people of Judah worship idols (II Chronicles 21:3).
While Jehoram thought he would get away with murder, something else was forthcoming. He received a letter from Elijah the prophet, saying sickness and disaster were to follow (II Chronicles 21:12-14).
18 After all this, the Lord struck Jehoram with an incurable intestinal disease. 19 Now it came about in the course of time, at the end of two years, that his intestines came out because of his disease and he died in excruciating pain. And his people did not make a funeral fire to honor him, like the fire for his fathers. 20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years; and he departed with no one’s regret (sorrow). They buried him in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings II Chronicles 21:18-20 AMP
Despite Jehoram’s evil ways, God remained faithful to the covenant which He had made with David.
… and because He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever. II Chronicles 21:7b AMP
People Revolt Against The Rule of Judah
Four peoples revolted against Judah during Jehoram’s reign.
- Edom. Revolted and set up a king over themselves (II Chronicles 21:8). Consequently, Jehoram took warriors and slaughtered the Edomites (II Chronicles 21:9)
- Libnah. Revolted because Jehoram abandoned (turned away from) the Lord God of his fathers (II Chronicles 21:10)AMP
- Philistines and Arabs. This band of raiders (II Chronicles 22:1) revolted and took everything in the King’s palace, including Jehoram’s wives. They killed all of Jehoram’s sons, leaving only his youngest son, Jehoahaz (Ahaziah).
Ahaziah Succeeds Jehoram in Judah
After Jehoram’s sickly death, his only surviving son was made King of Judah at age 22. Ahaziah’s mother’s name was Athaliah. She was a granddaughter of Omri. Ahaziah had a very short reign lasting a single year in Jerusalem. He followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.
3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his adviser [and she encouraged him] to act wickedly. 4 So he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab, for they were his advisers after the death of his father, resulting in his destruction. II Chronicles 22:3-4 AMP
Ahaziah was hiding in Samaria when he was captured, brought to Jehu, and murdered. His death was not just an untimely attack, it was a recompense for his father’s and his forefathers’ evil doings. God appointed Jehu to exact punishment on the house of Ahab.
7 But the downfall of Ahaziah was ordained by God, in that he went to Joram (Jehoram). For when he arrived there he went out [as an ally] with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab. II Chronicles 22:7 AMP
In the course of punishing the Ahab’s descendants, Jehu killed the leaders of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s murdered brothers (II Chronicles 22:8). Jehu’s men did not leave Ahaziah”a body unburied like a common criminal. They honored his grandfather Jehoshaphat by burying him, remembering Jehoshaphat’s walk with the Lord. It showed thatdespite the consequences of evil living, a person can still reap the benefits of a praying grandpa (II Chronicles 22:9).
Athaliah’s Revenge and Deposition
Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. II Chronicles 22:7 AMP
Women’s names are rarely seen in the Bible. If they are, they likely denote contribution of something substantial to the narrative. In today’s reading, we meet 1.) Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab and the mother of Ahaziah – son of Jehoram; 2.) Jehoshabeath, daughter of Jehoram, former the King of Judah – the sister of Ahaziah and wife of the Priest, Jehoiada; and 3.) Zibiah, the mother of Joash – son of Ahaziah.
When Athaliah determined to kill the King’s sons, Ahaziah’s sister Jehoshabeath had a plan of her own to preserve the royal lineage. She stole Joash, the infant son of Ahaziah, from among the Kong’s sons. Jehoshabeath hid Joash and his nurse in the house (temple) of God, away from his grandmother, Athaliah. Consequently, Joash survived the death of his kin.
God can allow you to be cloaked from “what should have happened.” I am a witness that the circumstances surrounding your existence are not necessarily the predictors of your destiny.
While Joash was hidden for six years in the temple chamber, Athaliah reigned over the land; but that is not the end of this story. In the seventh year, Jehoiada gathered the captains of Judah, and the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of the households of the fathers (ancestors) in Israel, and they came to Jerusalem and waged a coup d’etat against Athaliah.
3 Then all the assembly made a covenant in the house of God with the king [that is, with the child Joash, to overthrow Athaliah by proclaiming his sovereignty]. And Jehoiada [the priest] said to them, “Behold, the king’s son [Joash] shall reign, as the Lord has said in regard to the sons of David. II Chronicles 23:3 AMP
Jehoiada charged a third of the gathered host who were the Priests and Levites, to be gatekeepers. A second third he charged to keep watch at the king’s palace; and the remaining third he charged to keep the Gate of the Foundation. The Levites were to surround Joash with their weapons drawn to kill anyone who should break through the ranks of the guard to get near Joash.
11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony [a copy of the Mosaic Law] and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, “Long live the king!” II Chronicles 23:11 AMP
Athaliah heard the people rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and singing with their musical instruments praising the King in the House of the Lord. She had to know what all th at was about. When she entered the temple, “King Joash” was at the entrance, standing beside his pillar with the captains and trumpeters.
Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason! II Chronicles 23:13 AMP
They captured Athaliah and put her to death at the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s palace as the priest had said, “Do not let her be put to death in the temple of the Lord.”
Reforms Carried Out and The Temple Repaired
Then Jehoiada caused the people to return to serving God from idol worship. They tore down the house of Baal and killed its priest in front of theaters of the idol god. Jehoiada restored the Levitical order of priests to offer the burnt offerings into the Lord according to the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing in accordance with the order of David.
Jehoiada restricted temple entrance to ceremonially, spiritually clean persons such as the Priests. He returned King Joash to his palace home; and all of the people rejoiced. So there was peace after Athaliah was deposed.
Joash was seven years old when he finally became king, and he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. Unlike his athers, Joash started out doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. He remained faithful all the days of Jehoiada the priest [his uncle]. He had two wives and children. Later, Joash decided to restore the house (temple) of the Lord. Although the Levites did not act quickly on this project, a tax was imposed and the temple was repaired (II Chronicles 24:8-14).
Jehoiada was a hundred and thirty years old when he died. He was buried in the City of David among the King, in tribute to his good and holy life.
Spiritual Relapse and Murders of Jehoiada’s Son
After the death of Jehoiada, the people of Judah and Jerusalem returned to their idolatrous ways, serving the God Asherim and other idols, and kindling the wrath of God for their sin and guilt.
In keeping with His forgiving nature, God sent prophets to lead them back to the Lord. Though these prophets testified against Judah and Jerusalem, the people did not adhere to the warnings. In fact, they stoned the prophet Zechariah (son of Jehoiada) to death for his message.
20 Then the Spirit of God came over Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people and said to them, “This is what God has said: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned (turned away from) the Lord, He has also abandoned (turned away from) you.’” 21 So they conspired against Zechariah and stoned him [to death] at the command of the king, in the courtyard of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but he murdered his son. And when Zechariah was dying, he said, “May the Lord see this and require an accounting!” II Chronicles 24:20-22 AMP
Aram Invades and Defeats Judah
Like his grandfather, Joash thought murder’s recompense would escape him. Instead, later that year, Arameans (Syrian) army invaded Judah and Jerusalem with a surprisingly small army (because they were empowered by God’s vengeance), killing all of the leaders and sending their spoil to the king of Damascus.
In the end, Joash was murdered by conspirators among his own servants in retaliation for the death of Jehoiada.
The consequences of sin can be brutal. While we have time on this earth, it behooves us to build up a record of good deeds an karma so that our lives may speak for us when nothing else will.
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