One Courageous Act
One of the saddest lines in the Old Testament is this one, concerning King Jehoram, “He died to no one’s regret.” Jehoram’s successor was his youngest son Ahaziah who ascended to the throne at the age of 22. He reigned for one year, and was killed in a political coup. His mother Athaliah assumed control of the nation, and she was the third in a line of evil rulers. Her first act as Queen was to annihilate all possible heirs to the throne, but Athaliah’s daughter-in-law, Jehoshabeath, rescued the youngest heir, a baby named Joash, and hid him in the temple. Together with her husband Jehoiada, Jehoshabeath hid the child for six years.
In the seventh year of Joash’s seclusion, Jehoiada “summoned his courage”, and decided to end the reign of such an evil queen. He called a meeting with his military leaders, devised a plan to overthrow the wicked regime, and successfully carried out the plan.
Under the villainous rule of Jehoram, Ahaziah and Athaliah the unused temple had fallen into disrepair, and the Levites who had been responsible for temple maintenance and worship had been furloughed. Now the nation crowned seven-year-old Joash king, and Jehoiada the priest restored the temple and Levitical leadership to their rightful place. Joash reigned in peace for forty years, guided by Jehoiada’s commitment to return to the spiritual guidelines established when David had been king.
What can we learn from Jehoiada and his wife Jehoshabeath?
- It takes courage to stand up for what is right in a culture that rebels against God.
- Returning to God’s values and God’s plan is the pathway to peace.
- We each have influence on those around us: either positively or negatively.
- A positive spiritual influence can have far-reaching effects.
The kingdom of Judah enjoyed forty years of peace because Jehoiada was courageous enough to take a stand against evil and reinstate the spiritual principles that put the nation back on track. Often one courageous act is the rudder that steers the entire ship into calm water. In what way can you positively impact your culture with a courageous act? It only takes one…..
(adapted from “Lessons From Lesser-Known Bible Characters”, available at www.johnggage.com/biblestudy/)