Morning Light – December 15th, 2015

MLToday: [2 Chronicles Twenty-Three] When Should We Get Involved? In this chapter we find a queen from the line of Jezebel on the throne in Judah. The line of David has been wiped out with only a 6 year old boy remaining to rule. Jehoiada the high priest and his wife hide the boy and take great risks to see that the rightful king is restored to the throne.
Streaming live daily at:…[2Ch 23:1-21 KJV]
1 And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him. 2 And they went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3 And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said unto them, Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the LORD hath said of the sons of David. 4 This [is] the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, [shall be] porters of the doors; 5 And a third part [shall be] at the king’s house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation: and all the people [shall be] in the courts of the house of the LORD. 6 But let none come into the house of the LORD, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they [are] holy: but all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD. 7 And the Levites shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whosoever [else] cometh into the house, he shall be put to death: but be ye with the king when he cometh in, and when he goeth out.
We now come to the reign of Joash under the high priest Jehoiada. It would be good at this point to list the successive kings in order up to now:
David – 40 years (death: natural causes)
Solomon – 40 years: (death: natural causes)
Rehoboam – 17 years: (natural causes)
Abijah – 3 years: (natural causes)
Asa – 41 years: (severe foot disease)
Jehoshaphat – 25 years (natural causes)
Jehoram – 8 years (severe stomach disease)
Ahaziah – 1 years (killed by Jehu)
Athaliah – 6 years (killed by Jehoida the high priest)
After the death of Ahaziah his mother the daughter of Jezebel and granddaughter of Omri takes over the throne. She sought out and killed all the remainder sons of Ahaziah except for the youngest who was whisked away in secret to the temple. Jehoash was kept hidden by the high priest Jehoiada with the intention of restoring the line of David to the throne. Jehoiada’s wife was Jehoshabeath who hid the boy from Athaliah and brought him to the temple. Jehoiada and his wife are godly examples of leaders who choose to get involved in a difficult situation. They could have easily just withdrawn to the temple during the massacre of the sons of Ahaziah by their grandmother. On the contrary they risked their lives to save the last remaining heir of David. Little did they know that their action had implications not only for the throne but for the whole world for in the loins of this 6 year old boy lay the lineage of Jesus Himself.
Jehoida lays in wait while Athaliah corrupts the kingdom. He gathers captians of the army around him and reaches out to Levites throughout Judah. He binds them by an oath that that Jehoash the last remaining son of David shall reign. The only way that will happen is by overthrowing Athaliah which the Levites set about to do. The plan set in place had two objectives: 1.) to overthrow Athaliah and place Jehoash on the throne. 2.) to keep the temple undefiled in the process in light of the fact that the temple ground is where the coup will be initiated. Therefore Jehoida takes great care to appoint door keepers to prevent any disorder in the temple while they go about to set Jehoash upon his rightful throne.
8 So the Levites and all Judah did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, and took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that were to go [out] on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses. 9 Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and bucklers, and shields, that [had been] king David’s, which [were] in the house of God. 10 And he set all 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 by the altar and the temple, by the king round about. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son, and put upon him the crown, and [gave him] the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king. 12 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the LORD: 13 And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.
In preparing to overthrow Athaliah there was a problem of getting weapons without drawing attention to what they were about to do. Therefore the Levites made use of the weapons laid up in the temple that were ornamental and historical relics from David’s time. The soldiers and priests are all in place and Jehoash is brought out of hiding and a coronation is conducted under the watchful eye of a host of armed men.
The people realize what is happening and having no love for Athaliah begin to praise and shout “long live the king…” Athaliah rushes into the temple and in a show of political theatre rends her clothes crying out “treason, treason!” This is a very dramatic moment. Up until Jehoiada brings the boy out no one knows that a king in the line of David still lives. They have accepted Athaliah because there was no other alternative choice. How many times do we accept the unacceptable because there is no other viable choice? Yet God was working in the situation according to His promise that there would not fail a king of the line of David to sit on the throne in Jerusalem.
14 Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds that were set over the host, and said unto them, Have her forth of the ranges: and whoso followeth her, let him be slain with the sword. For the priest said, Slay her not in the house of the LORD. 15 So they laid hands on her; and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king’s house, they slew her there. 16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD’S people. 17 Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 18 Also 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 is] written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, [as it was ordained] by David. 19 And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none [which was] unclean in any thing should enter in. 20 And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the LORD: and they came through the high gate into the king’s house, and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom. 21 And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.
Jehoiada sent the captians forth to take Athaliah but instructed them not to kill her in the temple lest it be defiled. They allow Athaliah to escape but kill her at the horse gate of the city. The horse in the bible represents ego and false strength. In Athaliah the Baal worship and influence of Jezebel is finally extinguished by the installment of a rightful king on the throne of David. In the aftermath Jehoiada quickly convenes a general assembly and invokes the people to sware that they will be the Lord’s people and will reject all idol worship. The people break into the temple of Baal and destroy it and kill the priests of Baal in the process.
Jehoiada reestablishes the offices of the Levites that had apparently been neglected and proper worship and offering of burnt offerings to the Lord is restored in the temple. He pays careful attention to seeing that only those ordained to do so can enter the temple. Apparently during the intervening years the temple had denigrated in its use to a mere historical archive frequented by the curious and the profane. Once again the temple precincts are cleansed and a full calendar of worship and sacrifice and singing reconstituted.
Having restored the temple worship Jehoiada sets Jehoash on the throne and there is rejoicing and quiet in the land. The lesson for us is that of being willing to get involved in situations where risk is involved at the leading of Lord. There will be times in your life that events will swirl around you that you can easily avoid and ignore but God points us to the example of Jehoiada and his wife who risked their lives for the advancement of the kingdom.

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