When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family.” (2 Chronicles 22:10)
Welcome to Faithfulness Friday! If this is your first time here to Faithfulness Friday, let me explain.
When in a tough season, one of the most beneficial things we can do is to get regular, fresh reminders of God’s faithfulness. No matter what you are going through, no matter your faith level at this point, no matter your faithfulness to the Lord, He is faithful to you as His child. If you are a Christian, “His child” means you.
Our faithfulness study today comes from Second Chronicles, chapters 21-23. The previous four Fridays (here, here, here, and here) were highlights from Second Chronicles 17-20. The final wrap-up of those chapters was a real view of Trouble With Alliances. Those troubles aren’t temporary.
When reading ahead through the next three chapters, we see the consequences of Jehoshaphat’s son’s poor decision of a sinful alliance through marriage – and God’s faithfulness through it all. After examining these past weeks how Jehoshaphat was a Godly king (but not perfect), it was a shocker that he didn’t stop his son, Jehoram, from marrying into the family of evil King Ahab and his wife, the horribly evil Queen Jezebel.
We truly should study Jezebel at some point. What a wicked woman she was!
To remind us, let’s review the kings of the split kingdoms of Israel. King Jehoshaphat ruled over Israel’s Southern kingdom. King Ahab ruled over the Northern kingdom.
The two kingdoms were intertwined with evil until the cycle was broken by God’s faithfulness.
In this week’s chapters, we see that Jehoram’s wife, Athaliah, was a carbon-copy of her mother Jezebel, especially after Jezebel’s death. Athaliah took perfectly to the training her evil mother taught her. It was the same for Jehoram. Rather than being a Godly king like his father, Jehoshaphat, he followed King Ahab’s evil ways.
Right out of the gate, after Jehoshaphat’s death, Jehoram took the throne and slaughtered all five of his brothers. Talk about insecurity in his leadership skills! He reacted to fear of what “might be” someday and rid himself of any competition within the family.
Not only did Jehoram commit the murders of his brothers, he also led Israel and Judah into idol worship, the very thing of which his father, Jehoshaphat, worked hard to root out of the kingdom. As we all would wish if we’d been involved, God brought judgment against Jehoram. Although God had every excuse to extinguish Jehoram, the Lord kept his covenant with David – to continue Israel’s kingdom under King David’s lineage.
The prophet Elijah explained how God would end Jehoram’s life someday.
You yourself with suffer with a severe intestinal disease that will get worse each day until your bowels come out.” (2 Chronicles 21:15)
Philistines and Arabs attacked Jehoram’s kingdom. In the process, they killed all of Jehoram’s sons except one. His youngest son, Ahaziah, was spared. That is when the intestinal disease took hold of Jehoram. Read the account at the end of chapter 21, where after two years of suffering, his bowels did fall out and he died. Yuckie.
Jehoram’s kingdom wasn’t sad at all. There was no royal burial for Jehoram. Good riddance!
Ahaziah became king of Israel’s Southern kingdom and reigned as yet another evil king for a grand total of one year. One. The details of his demise are in 2 Chronicles 22.
You see here that the wicked influence of Ahab and Jezebel was still working its way through the ancestry line of King Jehoshaphat through marriage.
Consequences of an Un-Godly Alliance
Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel and Ahab and wife of Jehoram, was at that time the matriarch of King David’s ancestry line. How could that be? You got it. Through marriage, not blood. A power-hungry, evil Queen A, she was!
Side note: Hubs calls me Queen A. It’s a nickname after my Mom 2 shared her title as “Queen Asterbutt” with me (and upon me) recently. Mom 2 is a friend’s mom who, as our former neighbor, fed me and half raised me because I was always at her house visiting my friend. She and her husband were also close friends of my parents. Like family. You know.
The “Queen Asterbutt” title comes with some fun perks, mostly calling myself that name and seeing some fun reactions from others. 🙂 Hubs and I shortened my title to Queen A when assigning my iPhone name.
As I read through these scriptures, I dubbed Queen Athaliah as “Queen A” – until I realized (horrors!) that I would share the same name. I never want to share anything with her because we are not alike at all. Can you relate?
Let’s review what today’s chapters reveal about Athaliah and whether you or I could ever be like her.
Could you encourage your son, the king, to commit evil acts?
Could you murder a multitude of your family members?
Could you murder your own grandchild(ren)?
Could you be so power hungry that you take over your son’s throne and not pass it on to your grandson, the rightful heir?
I think NOT.
When her son King Ahaziah died, Queen Athaliah slaughtered all the remaining family members in the royal line – except one grandson (Joash) she couldn’t find. Joash was hidden in the palace for six years. Since this post is rather long, I’ll leave the details for you to read if you haven’t already.
The story of Athaliah’s reign as queen until her demise in the seventh year of Joash’s life can be found in chapters 22 and 23.
While God’s people worshiped idols and kings were not faithful to Him, God remained faithful to keep the throne running through David’s ancestry line. The Lord keeps His covenants – even when we do not. He is faithful!
I hope this inspires you to read scripture if you’ve not made it a regular practice. No fiction is as interesting (and sometimes shockingly horrific), I promise. In our reading today, can you agree?
Because He lives~