Bible Readings for December 19th
The stories in 2 Chronicles 22–23 narrate the bloody history by which Judah emerges from chaos, wickedness, and violence in the aftermath of Jehoram’s reign. Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, picks up in Judah where his father left off, walking “in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly” (2 Chron. 22:3). After Yahweh ordains to put Ahaziah to death, his mother—who is Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and the granddaughter of Omri (2 Chron. 22:2)—sees her opportunity for power, so she murders all of her grandsons except for Joash, whom one of her granddaughters hides in the temple under the watchful care of Jehoiada the priest (2 Chron. 22:10–12). Jehoiada then protects him until the day that Joash, the true son of David, may be revealed, anointed, and crowned as king (2 Chron. 23:1–11).
Now, this is a story we studied back in 2 Kings 8–11, and many of the details of how Joash ascended to the throne—as well as the story of how Judah’s leaders put Athaliah to death over her protests of treason—show up almost identically in the narratives there. But, in the section where we read about Jehoiada’s reforms of Judah’s worship, we see a key difference in the telling of this story in 2 Chronicles—namely, the emphasis here is on the way that Jehoiada helps Joash restore David’s organization of the priests and Levites: “And Jehoiada posted watchmen for the house of the LORD under the direction of the Levitical priests and the Levites whom David had organized to be in charge of the house of the LORD, to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, as it is written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David” (2 Chron. 23:18).
Even here, where we read nearly identical stories, the Chronicler uniquely puts David back at the forefront, placing David’s orders on equal footing with the law of Moses. Just as we saw so many times in 1 Chronicles, the point of this is not to exalt David but to anticipate the coming of David’s greater Son—an anticipation that becomes all the more desperate as we see how poorly the immediate sons of David have reigned as kings so far in 2 Chronicles.
All this reminds us that, one day, the Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed in glory, returning to depose the treacherous rulers of this world who have oppressed God’s people. On that day, no amount of protesting will protect those who have despised the reign of David’s greater Son. Today, is your hope bound up in patiently waiting for the revelation of David’s true, greater Son, or are you seeking personal gain for yourself no matter whom you trample in the process?
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.