Read 163.) II Kings 10:18 thru 12:3 and II Chronicles 22:10 thru 24:14. We first read of Israel’s King Jehu, thru all of II Kings 10. He seemingly started out so well, as the Lord had told him in 10:30. We saw this to be so, when we first learned of him, commencing with 9:1. But we next read that Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord with all his heart. Jehu continued in all the sin and idolatry of Jeroboam, Israel’s first king, who had made golden calves for Israel to worship in the place of the Lord. After having started so well, he finished so poorly; and nothing more of any good is recorded at all concerning him. What a shame! We then go from Israel in the north, to Judah in the south, and this woman named Athaliah, beginning with 11:1.
With II Kings 11, this Athaliah is given just one chapter of 20 verses. All that we know of her is that she was power-hungry, and blood-thirsty. That there was Baal worship permitted in Judah in her day is indicative of her own violation of the law of the Lord. Having other gods and their idols was a violation of the first two Commandments, and called for a penalty of death, which she duly received after having reigned briefly for only about 7 years. Betrayed by God-fearing individuals, another son in the line of David would rise to the throne. His name was Joash, and he came to the throne at the age of only 7.
II Kings 12 is dedicated to much of the life and reign of Joash. By this account, he was said to have been a good king, doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord for at least all of the years that Jehoiada the priest instructed him. What is that about?
Reading the parallel accounts from II Chronicles, we learn of many of the very same things. Though the Chronicler does not tell us of Jehu in Israel, his focus being upon those who reigned in Judah, we do read of Athaliah, with very little extra detail, and then we come again to Joash. The period would seem to be from about 835 to 796 BC. Perhaps the matter of greatest importance that we may take away from this reading is the godly influence that one man, Jehoiada the priest, had over young King Joash, and of all the good that resulted from his influence. As in II Kings, we are told of Joash in II Chronicles 24:2, that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but, again, with the very same qualifier as before… it was during all the years of Jehoiada the priest. As in II Kings 12, we ask what this is about? We’re going find the answer very soon, but first, we will read of the second writing prophet, Joel, from about 825 BC, unto Judah. The real issue has still been righteousness. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell