November 10, 2015.
Daily Reading: II Chronicles 21-24.
Background: II Chronicles 16-20.
Concepts and Connections.
Jehoram: After the death of Jehoshaphat, his firstborn son Jehoram assumed the throne in his place. When he took the throne, he killed his brothers and some of the princes of Israel to establish his reign. Jehoram did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, but rather reigned wickedly and poorly. It seems that Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab had a bad influence on his son, as Jehoram was married to Ahab’s daughter, who influenced him to walk in the ways of the kings of Isreal. He made high places and led the people into idolatry and whoredom, doing many wicked things in the sight of the Lord. Elijah was sent to him to speak against him, telling him of his demise that the Lord was bringing on him for all of his iniquity, for walking in the way of the kings of Israel and enticing the people of Judah to sin. In his day Edom, the Philistines and the Arabians revolted/were stirred up against Jehoram, and eventually all his sons, save one, are killed. Note the providence of God here, that though Jehoram did not walk in His ways, the Lord was faithful to the covenant He made with David and spared a son to sit on the throne. Jehoram, however, did receive his punishment, an incurable disease in his bowels which would cause him to die in great agony. Note how terrible of a king Jerhoram was, that the record says when he died no one regretted his death. The people would not even bury him in the tombs of the kings. Let us not follow in his footsteps.
Ahaziah and Athaliah: After the death of Jehoram, Ahaziah his youngest son (called Jehoahaz in the previous chapter) was put on the throne to reign in his place. He too did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, for he took counsel from his mother Athaliah, who was the granddaughter of Omri, a wicked king of Israel (see I Kings 16:21-28). He also follows the bad counsel of the counselors of the house of Ahab to go to war with Hazael of Syria, who wounded him badly. Take note here of what bad counsel can do, and avoid it. The Lord had appointed Ahaziah’s list to Joram in Israel to be his demise, for He had set Jehu the son of Nimshi to destroy the house of Ahab. During Ahaziah’s visit, Jehu would fulfill this prophecy and kill Ahaziah in the process (see II Kings 9). When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she killed the royal family and assumed the throne herself (see II Kings 11:1-3). Fortunately, the daughter of Ahaziah took Joash, the son of Ahaziah, and hid him from Athaliah in the house of God, and thus the line of David would not be cut off. Joash was hidden in the house of God for six years while Athaliah reigned.
Joash and Jehoiada: For notes on this chapter, see notes on II Kings 11. Note here Jehoiada’s reforms and commitment to the ways of the Lord. He is the major player in this chapter for the reform of Judah, stepping up and organizing the people to establish Joash as king and dethrone Athaliah. He is an example of a leader who had his heart set on the Lord, generating the momentum for religious reform in Judah.
Joash’s reign: Whereas the previous chapter focused more on Jehoiada’s organization and reform, this chapter focuses on the reign of Joash. Note here that the text mentions multiple times a phrase similar to “did what was right all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” It is clear that Jehoiada was the driving force behind the reform in Judah, though Joash is the one who sets into motion and drives the restoration of the house of the Lord. He gathers the priests and Levites and charges them to repair the house quickly. The Levites, however do not repair it quickly, and Joash rebukes Jehoiada and enforces the tax that Moses levied of the people in Exodus 30:12-16 in order to raise money to repair the temple. Much money is collected and used to pay the workers who skillfully repair the temple, and the excess is used to make the utensils of the temple. After it was repaired, regular burnt offerings ere offered in the house of the Lord, again, all the days of Jehoiada. However, when Jehoiada died an old man and full of days, Judah departed from the Lord to set up and worship other gods. Without Jehoiada’s leadership, the people quickly fell away, though prophets were sent to them to bring them back. The Spirit of God then clothed Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, to speak against the people and the king for their iniquity, which resulted in his death by stoning commissioned by Joash himself. Because of their departure from the Lord, the Syrians were brought against them and the Lord gave Judah into their hands, though they had come with few men. After Joash was wounded, his servants conspired against him and killed him, and he wasn’t buried in the tombs of the kings. Amaziah his son reigned in his place.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 120-122.
Faith is a journey.