Shall we turn in our Bibles to II Chronicles, beginning with chapter twenty one this evening. Jehoshaphat you remember was a good king. The son of Amaziah, he had initiated even further spiritual reforms. He had sought the Lord for help and for strength during his reign. He had experienced the power of God, and the deliverance of God, from the enemies. The kingdom was strengthened, the kingdom was blessed under his reign.
However, Jehoshaphat had a strange fascination to observe evil, and on several occasions would go to the northern kingdom. Befriended Ahab that horribly wicked king of Israel, and pledged himself to support Ahab. The prophet of God rebuked him for this alliance, and yet he persisted in it. At the death of Ahab, he continued this relationship with the northern kingdom through the equally wicked son of Ahab, Ahaziah. Again, the Lord spoke to Jehoshaphat and told him that the joint ventures would be broken.
The Bible tells us not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and yet that is exactly what Jehosophat sought to do. So it was sort of a strange quirk of his personality. Though he was a good king, though he loved the Lord, and lead, led the people in the worship and service to God, still this drawing, inner drawing that he seemed to have towards evil. The desire to see it, as a observer, not to participate.
So Jehoshaphat [This good king] slept with his fathers, he was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead. And he had brothers [That is Jehoram] the sons of Jehoshaphat, [And you might take a bible dictionary, or a good bible concordance, Young’s or Strong’s, and look up the names that Jehoram gave, or that Jehoshaphat gave to his sons. Because they are all really just very great names that signify the help of God, the strength of God, God being King, and just good names.] Azariah, Jehiel, [And that is “Jehovah is God”.] Zechariah, [Again another Azariah, but in the Hebrew it’s spelled a little differently. But in phonetically, it sounds the same in English, but in the Hebrew it is a little different name.] Michael, and Shephatiah: and all of these were the sons of Jehoshaphat the king of Israel. And their father [Jehoshaphat] gave to them great gifts of silver, of gold, precious things, [And he placed them more or less, as rulers over the walled or,] fenced cities of Judah: but the kingdom itself he gave to Jehoram; because he was his firstborn (21:1-3).
It seems that there was a co-regency for a period of time. Jehoram reigning with his father, Jehoshaphat. But when Jehoshaphat died…
Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he [first of all] strengthened himself, and then he slew all of his brothers [Or murdered his brothers] with the sword, and also many of the princes of Israel (21:4).
Jehoram, accompanying his father on these ventures north, seeing the evil and the wickedness that existed in the northern kingdom, being exposed to all of the licentiousness that was there, being a young teenager, was not able to handle it. Though his dad went, and though his dad observed these things, his son was destroyed by them.
His son fell in love with the daughter of Jezebel and Ahab, the wicked rulers of the north, who had brought the nation of Israel to the lowest depths of moral depravity. His son, falling in love with Athaliah, the daughter, when he was seventeen years old, married her, or seventeen or less. It was a marriage of just a teenage kid. They had their first child when he was eighteen years old.
But seeing these things, he was polluted by them. He had a fascination for them, as did his father, but his father only in observation, whereas Jehoram participated in the evils of the northern kingdom. He behaved himself as long as his father was alive. As soon as his father died, he gave himself over to the wickedness, and the licentiousness that marked the northern kingdom. No doubt his wife had a bad effect upon him, being the daughter of Ahab, and Jezebel. Under the reign of Jehoram, the nation of Judah began to sink, as was the nation of Israel.
So Jehoram was thirty two years old when he began to reign, he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem (21:5).
A short reign, he died at the young age of forty. His death being quickened because of his evil lifestyle. Now we are told concerning him, that…
He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, [Having observed the kings of Israel, and their wickedness, he walked in their ways.] for he had the daughter of Ahab as his wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (21:6).
He turned his back upon the Lord. Now Jezebel had introduced to the northern kingdom, the worship of Baal. He also, following the model of his mother-in-law, introduced Baal worship in Jerusalem. In fact, they built a temple to Baal, next to the temple that Solomon had built unto Jehovah. They had set up priests of Baal there in Jerusalem. “He did that which was evil, as the kings of Israel.”
Howbeit the Lord would not destroy the house of David, [He was a descendant of David, and because of that, God would not destroy the house of David. You see he’d cut off all of his brothers. He had killed all of his brothers, and so he was the only one left of the house of David, as far as decendency from David on the throne. “So the Lord would not destroy the house of David”,] because he had made this covenant with David, and he promised to give a light to David and sons to reign for ever (21:7).
Of course that covenant that God made with David, David understood it to mean that from David, the great King, the Messiah, would reign over Israel, and that the Messiah would then be a descendant from David, which indeed, Jesus Christ was. So he was spared only because of God’s covenant that He made with David. Not because he was righteous or deserving. God honored His covenant.
I am comforted by the fact that God honors His covenants. He is a faithful God who keeps covenant with His people. Even though the people often fail, as was the case here. A total failure, on the part of Jehoram, and yet God remained faithful and true. I thank God for the covenant that He has made with me, through Jesus Christ. For Jesus, when He took the cup said, “This is a new covenant, in my blood which is shed for the remission of sins”. I thank the Lord that He keeps that covenant. That my sins have been forgiven. Though I may not always be faithful, He is faithful. He keeps His covenant with man.
Now, because of the wickedness of Jehoram, because he turned his back upon the Lord. Because he led the nation of Judah, in a spiritual and moral decline, God allowed the enemies to be strengthened against them.
And in his days the Edomites rebelled from under the dominion of Judah. The Edomites had been broad, and made a vassal state, but now they are beginning to rebel. So he went down to crush the rebellion. However he became surrounded by the Edomites. He fought his way out of the battle, God spared him, but from that time on, the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. [They were never again brought under subjection to Judah.] And also at the same time did Libnah revolt from under his hand; [And the reason being,] because he had forsaken Jehovah the God of his fathers (21:8-10).
God had over, and over again said to the kings of Israel, “If you seek me, I will be found of you; if you forsake me, I will forsake you”. We know that, that is true today. I cannot walk away from God and the things of God, and expect God to continue to give me His divine protection. I can move myself outside of the hand of God’s protection.
Jude, in writing his epistle, exhorts those to whom he is writing to, “Keep yourselves in the love of God”. Keep yourself in that place where God can protect you, where God can bless you. Where God can show His love to you, by doing for you the things He desires to do. It is possible for you to remove yourself from the place of God’s blessing, the place of God’s love. As Jude points out, with the examples of the nation of Israel itself, who had experienced the deliverance of God from the bondage of Egypt, and yet never did enter into the full blessings of the promised land, because of their unbelief.
Some of you have been delivered from the bondage of sin, but you haven’t entered into the full blessings of that walk in the Spirit. You’ve come short of all that God is wanting to do for you. You haven’t entered into that fullness. You haven’t kept yourself in that place where God can do for you, the things He wants to do for you, because of His love. You haven’t kept yourself in the love of God. God still loves you, of course! But you’re not receiving the full benefits of that love.
Then he pointed out the angels, who had once dwelt in the very presence of God, but they kept not their first estate, and are now reserved in the chains of darkness, awaiting the days of judgement, because they rebelled against God. Satan, lifted up with pride, rebelling against God. Beware of pride, it can separate you from the place of blessing. God can’t do for you those things He desires to do, when pride masters your life.
Then those of Sodom and Gomorrah, were given as an example, who failed to keep themselves in the love of God. Enjoying the beautiful natural advantages of the city of Sodom, there in the plains of Jordan. Yet failing to keep themselves in the love of God, were destroyed by the fire and the brimstone that came from heaven. We are told it was their lust that removed them from the place. Giving themselves over to their lusts, they removed themselves from the place of blessing.
Then Cain is an example of one who failed to keep himself in the love of God. The hatred that filled his heart. From the hatred, the murder of his brother Abel. Then he gives us the example of Balaam, who was greedy for the rewards that the king had offered for his advice, in cursing the people. He allowed greed to master him, and thus missed the place of God’s blessing. Finally, Korah, jealousy filling his heart, also missed out on God’s blessings.
So the warning, “Keep yourself in the love of God”. As you do, God will watch over you, God will protect you, God will bless you, He’ll do for you all those loving things He wants to do for you. But it’s possible for you to forsake the way of the Lord, and put yourself outside of the place of blessing, and calamity will begin to strike your life. Calamity began to strike against Jehoram. First of all in the rebellion of Edom, then followed by Libnah. Then were told further of his sins, verse eleven.
You know God sometimes allows these things to happen to cause us to turn back to Him. A lot of times when God is beginning to chastise us, we realize our failure, we turn back to God, we repent, we ask forgiveness, and we come back into that place of blessing. But others, only rebel further. They stiffen up. God gives us the opportunities to turn. God gives us the opportunities to come back, we don’t always take them, and some people become bitter when God begins to deal with their lives. Others become better. It all depends on my attitude towards that dealing of God with me. Whether I resent it, whether I rebel against it, become bitter and go further in the evil, or whether I come back to the Lord.
Now, the purposes of God are to draw me back, to awaken me to my condition. To draw me back. But Jehoram only became worse after this rebellion.
Then he made high places in the mountains of Judah, [That is for pagan worship.] he caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, [That would be spiritual fornication, setting up idolatry. As we mentioned the temple for Baal, right there in Jerusalem.] and he compelled Judah (21:11).
Ordered them to worship these pagan deities.
And so there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, [Now there is some difficulty here. In the minds of some it can be explained in many different ways. Because from the account of kings, it would appear that Elijah was dead before he had taken the throne completely. But as we mentioned, the fact that he was a co-region to his father, Elijah died during the lifetime of his father, but the fact that he was a co-region with his father, uh this letter, at this point, would appear to be after the death of Elijah, or not the death, Elijah did not see death, but was translated into heaven. But it came, it would appear historically, after that time. Now, this causes trouble to some of the critics of the bible, but the fact that he was able to speak to him of, of his wickedness, and of what he was going to do, and of what God was going to do to judge him. But, you remember when Elijah was in mount Horeb, having run from Jezebel, that wicked woman that we’ve been talking about, so we’re in the general period of history here. But you remember when Elijah was running from Jezebel, that the Lord spoke to him down there in the cave at mount Horeb. He said to him, “Get up to Syria, and anoint Hazael to be the king over Syria.” And so Elijah went up and he met Hazael and he began to stare at him until it was embarrassing. Then he began to weep, and Hazael said, “What’s wrong?”, and he said, “I’m weeping over the horrible things you’re gonna do. For you’re gonna murder your master, and then you’re gonna shed the blood of the children of Israel, the babies you’re gonna slaughter”. Elijah was predicting the future evil reign of Hazael before he was ever king. Hazael himself seemed to be shocked. He said, “Am I a dog that I would do these things, and yet he did those things. He murdered Benhadad, and then of course he conquered over Israel, and destroyed the women and the children. Elijah could see it, prophetically, by the Spirit. So it is not at all unthinkable, that even before Jehoram entered in, or did these things, that by the Spirit, Elijah knew, even as he did with Hazael, and even as he did with another king, predicting his, the thing, well actually with Ahab. He predicted his death, and he predicted the death of Jezebel, the uh, where the dogs licked the blood of Ahab, so shall they lick the blood of Jezebel. And uh, he had predicted their tragic end because of their sin. So, here with Jehoram, and probably while he was still co-regent with his father, Elijah wrote this prophecy, this message that was delivered to him, that said,] Thus saith Jehovah God the God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of your grandfather Asa the king of Judah, But you’ve walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and you’ve made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a-whoring, [That is after these other gods.] like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, [“You’ve introduced this whole vile, moral morass.”] and also you have slain your brethren of your father’s house, which were better than yourself (21:12-13):
And this could all be prophecy, declaring that he was gonna slay his brothers who were better than himself, and that’s probably why he killed them. Because he knew that they would be outraged by the things that he was going to do, he had in mind to do.
Behold [The Lord says] with a great plague will Jehovah smite your people, and your children, and your wives, and your goods: [“You’re gonna get wiped out. Your children, your wives, your possessions.”] And you yourself shall have a great sickness, your bowels will become diseased, until your bowels will fall out by reason of the sickness day by day. [“You’re gonna die a horrible, ugly death.” Now we read,] Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, [Not only did Edom rebel and Libnah, but now the Philistines begin to fight him.] and the Arabians, who were near the Ethiopians: And they came up into Judah, they broke into it, and they carried away the substance that was found in the king’s house, they also carried away his sons and killed them, also his wives; so that there was not a son left unto him, except for Jehoahaz, who was the youngest of his sons. [The rest of his sons were all carried away and killed by the enemy.] And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels [The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, or Elijah rather.] with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in the process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers (21:14-19).
As we pointed out this morning, this disease is like AIDS in many of the victims. It’s a horrible kind of a disease. “The people made no burning for him.” Now, usually when the king would die, they would light bonfires, and they would gather around and mourn, and weep, and lament over the loss of the king. Not for this fellow. He had eight years of horrible reign, in which the nation went from a position of power, wealth and strength, to a position of weakness, conquered by their enemy. Filled with false gods.
He was thirty two years old when he began to reign, he reigned in Jerusalem for only eight years, and he departed without being desired. [No one cared.] Howbeit they did bury him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings (21:20).
The inhabitants of Jerusalem then made his son [Jehoahaz, who is here called,] Ahaziah [And so he’s known by actually three different names. At the beginning he’ll be called Azariah, Ahaziah, and Jehoahaz.] the youngest son [The only son that he had left. “The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son”,] the king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all of the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram the king of Judah reigned (22:1).
The forty two is a copyist error somewhere along the line. In Kings it says he was twenty two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah [that was] the daughter of [Jezebel and Ahab who had married Jehoram. The wicked queen mother, who still had a horrible influence in Judah.] And so he walked in the ways of Ahab: for his mother was his [influence, his] counsellor to do wickedly (22:2-3).
Ma Barker, you know! Just uh, leading her son in the path of wickedness. You know there’s probably nothing more glorious and powerful than the influence of a godly mother. Read the stories of John, and Charles Wesley, and the marvelous influence their mother had over them. Godly mothers can carry such tremendous influence over their sons, for good. I thank God for the influence of my mother in my life. I thank God for the influence of Kay, in the lives of our children. I really attribute the godly walk of our children to their mother’s influence in their lives, her prayers, and her influence. Thank God for it!
But even as a mother can be an influence for good, a mother also can be a horrible influence for evil. Some of the worst tyrants in the world have been created by the ungodly influence of their mothers. Athaliah was one of those. An ungodly influence upon her son.
And wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab: for [there] they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction (22:4).
So his mother was his counselor, and also the other counselors that he had were leading him in the wrong path.
He walked also after their counsel, and he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab the king of Israel to war against Hazael [This other one we already talked about.] the king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram. [Who was the king of Israel. The northern kingdom.] And he returned [Joram returned] to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that he received in the battle against the Syrians. And Azariah [This is the third name given to Ahaziah] the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick (22:5-6).
Now Joram was actually his uncle. He was the brother of Athaliah, who was the mother of king Ahaziah. So he was going up to visit his uncle, again following the pattern of his grandfather, in that curiosity and desire to be involved in the wickedness of the northern kingdom. He was going up to visit his uncle.
And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: [This visit to his uncle was going to cost him his life.] for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi (22:7),
Now, God had promised that He was going to cut off Ahab, the dynasty, the seed of Ahab, from ruling in Israel. So the son of Ahab had gone to war against Syria, at Ramothgilead, where Ahab incidentally was killed in battle. The very same city, trying to take it from Syria, Ahab was killed. Now his son Joram goes against the city and is wounded, severely wounded. He is recuperating in Jezreel. But the Lord came to Jehu, and told Jehu that he was to be the king. The prophet came to Jehu, said, “God has appointed you to be the king, to wipe out Ahab, and the ungodly seed of Ahab from the land”. So Ahab, or Jehu, was coming with his men, a band of men, to kill Joram. It so happened that by Ahaziah being there during this bloody purge, he also was caught by Jehu, and killed by Jehu.
So it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing [God’s] judgement [actually] upon the house of Ahab, that he found the princes of Judah, [That had come with Ahaziah] and the sons and the brothers of Ahaziah, that ministered to him, and he slew them. And then he sought for Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hiding in Samaria,) and they brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, they said, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord [That is, at least they honored him by burial. They just didn’t leave the body out for the dogs and the birds to eat. But they buried him, and did him that honor because of his grandfather Jehoshaphat, not because of him. “Because Jehoshaphat had sought the Lord”,] with all of his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom (22:8-9).
Ahaziah only reigned, twenty two when he began his reign, reigned only for one year.
But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all of the royal seed of the house of Judah. [She, she caught hold of all of the descendants of David, to kill them.] But [Jehoshabeath] Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons [Now this wicked woman went around and killed all of her grandchildren, all of her grandsons, but she didn’t find this one little guy. He was a baby, the uh,] his aunt took him, and gave him to a nurse to keep him. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, [She had married into the family of the priesthood.] (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) she hid him from Athaliah, so that she did not slay him. And he was with them hid there in the house of God [In the temple they hid this little baby.] for six years: and Athaliah was reigning over the land (22:10-12).
A year old when he was spirited away by his aunt, and hid that he was not slain by his evil grandmother.
So in the seventh year [And of course this Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel, assumed the position of queen, and reigning over the land. She uh, reigned over the land for this six years period. “And in the seventh year”,] Jehoiada the priest strengthened himself, he took the captains of the hundreds, [He got together the military.] and he called them to come into a covenant with him (23:1).
He said, “Look we have a descendant of David. God’s promised the throne to David. This wicked woman she belongs to the north, and God’s promised it to David. So, he caused them to make a covenant. He revealed, “Look I’ve got this little boy, here he is, seven years old, but he’s the rightful heir to the throne”.
So they went about in Judah and they gathered together all of the Levites [This was a conspiracy, it was a surreptitious kind of a thing. “And they gathered all of the Levites”,] from out of the cities of Judah, the chief of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. [This little seven year old boy.] And he said unto them, Behold, here is the king’s son and he shall reign, as Jehovah hath said of the sons of David. [“Here’s the rightful heir.”] And this is the thing that you shall do; A third part of you entering in on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be the porters of the doors; [“You’ll be the guards at the door, a third of you.”] A third part of you shall be over here at the king’s house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation: and all of the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. But don’t let any one come into the house of the Lord, except the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they are holy: but the people shall keep the watch of the Lord. And so the Levites shall encircle the king [They’ll get a circle around him.] every man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever else comes into the house, shall be put to death: but you with the king when he comes in, and when he goes out (23:2-7).
“You will be there, you’ll surround him, you’ll protect him.” The whole thing was set up.
So the Levites and all of Judah did according to the things that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, they took every man his men that were under him that had come on the sabbath day, that were to go out on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses. [They kept them all there, rather than dismissing them to go home, they kept them there.] Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of the hundreds the spears, and the bucklers, and the shields, that had been stored there in the temple, that were used by king David, that were there in the house of God. And he set all of the people, every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along the altar and the temple, by the king round about (23:8-10).
In other words, they just surrounded the place, both sides. Here was this little seven year old boy, standing in the place that the king stood in the temple. There was a special place of honor for the king to stand, within the temple. He’s surrounded by these guards, by these men, armed, with the armour that came from the days of David. Having set the whole thing up…
Then they brought [This little seven year old boy out. “They brought”,] out the king’s son, put upon him the crown, and they gave him the covenant and they made him the king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they began to cry, God save the king. [And this whole cry then was taken up by the people. Quite a tumultuous crowd crying, “God save the king!”] Now when Athaliah [This wicked queen mother.] heard the noise of the people running about and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the Lord: And she looked, and, behold, the king was standing at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all of the people of the land were rejoicing, and were sounding with the trumpets, and also the singers and the instruments of music, and those that were taught to sing the praises. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason. So Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of the hundreds that were set over the host, and he said to them, Take her out of the range of the temple: [“Get her out of the range of this place!”] and whoever follows her to support her, put her to death, and let her be slain with the sword. For the priest said, Don’t slay her here within the temple (23:11-14).
“Take her out of the range of the temple. Anybody tries to support her, kill them, and slay her with the sword outside.”
So they laid hands on her; and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king’s house, there they slew her. And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all of the people, and between the king, that they should be Jehovah’s people (23:15-16).
So, here again is hope. With a spiritual reform. The nation had sunk through the wicked influence of the two previous kings, Jehoram and Ahaziah. They had been defeated by their enemies. So a new covenant, a renewal of their commitment to the Lord. “We will be Jehovah’s people.”
I love this kind of a commitment! I think that it’s a kind of a covenant that we all need to make and we need to renew time by time. That covenant to be God’s man, God’s woman, God’s people. “We’re gonna serve the Lord. We’re gonna put the Lord first. We’re gonna keep the Lord first in our lives.” Righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach to any people.
The frightening thing about the whole issue is that there are so many parallels between the nation of Israel, and the United States. As we see the decline, as we see the turning away from God by the nation that was founded and established by God, established as God’s people, but as they began to turn away from God, the calamities that began to befall the nation. Tragedies that began to come.
Here’s the sign of hope, the covenant being made by the priest. In reality, you know as well as I know, that a seven year old boy doesn’t really have any power in reigning, he’s, he’s a puppet. He’s just a figure head on the throne, because he’s a descendant of David. Jehoiada was the real power behind the throne at this point. He was the priest, and he was the real strength and power behind the throne. But it’s good. It’s good, because he is leading in a spiritual reform. He’s making the covenant to bring the people back to the Lord. To be the Lord’s people.
Then all the people went to the house of Baal, [That Athaliah had built near the temple of God. That horrible profaning, of the things of God, right there near the courts of the Lord.] and they broke it down, they broke down the altars and the images they smashed them to pieces, and they slew Mattan who was the priest of Baal, there before the altars of Baal. [They wiped out this horrible pagan religion, of which the scripture said was causing the children of Israel to commit fornication, spiritual fornication, and the whoredoms. “As they went a-whoring after the other gods”, forsaking their true God, and the living God.] And so Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it was written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as was ordained by David (23:17-18).
So he reinstituted the worship in the temple, that had of course declined under the wicked reign of Ahaziah and Athaliah. Now he restores the order of the priests, he restores the sacrifices, and he restores the temple worship, the singing and the praises, as they offered their sacrifices unto God.
And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, [The guards that were there.] and none which were unclean could enter in to the temple precincts. And he took the captains of the hundreds and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and he brought down the king from the house of the Lord: and they came through the high gate into the king’s house, and he set the king upon the throne of the kingdom (23:19-20).
So he established this little seven year old boy, the last living descendant who wasn’t slain, because he was hid by the nurse. Joash is now sitting there upon the throne, little seven year old boy crowned king.
All the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after they had slain Athaliah with the sword (23:21).
So peace had come. A quietness and a time of prosperity. But, unfortunately, as we will discover in the next chapter, when Jehoiada died, his influence over Joash ceased, and somehow, someway Joash turned. He did not follow through on the spiritual reforms completely and it’s a sad, sad picture. Thus God allowed them to be overthrown by Syria, a weaker force. But we’ll look at all of that next week, as we continue our journey through the bible.
I pray that God will bless you this week in a very special way. That your life will be guided by the Holy Spirit. That you’ll have that sense of God’s nearness, and of God’s presence and especially of God’s love. May He strengthen you as you walk in the midst of an evil and corrupt generation. May He keep your heart pure and holy towards Him. Thus, may you grow in your love and in your commitment to the things of God. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7137