Bible Readings for October 30th
In 2 Samuel 7, Yahweh made a covenant with David, promising that David would never lack a man from his own body to sit on the throne of Israel. But, as we continue through the stories of the kings of Israel and Judah, one major question arises again and again: Will Yahweh continue to honor his promise to David, despite the fact that David’s descendants do not obey Yahweh as David did? In fact, we find Yahweh’s promise severely tested at multiple points—including during the usurped reign of Queen Athaliah in today’s reading from 2 Kings 11.
Athaliah is the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah (2 Kgs. 11:1). When Jehu kills both King Ahaziah and King Joram of Israel, he begins to reign over the ten tribes of Israel (2 Kgs. 9–10), but not the two tribes of Judah. Athaliah, then, murders the entire royal family of Ahaziah (2 Kgs. 11:1) because she recognizes an opportunity to secure the throne of Judah for herself by destroying all the remaining men of the house of Ahaziah—with one major exception. Athaliah fails to murder Ahaziah’s infant son Joash, who is rescued and hidden away by his aunt Jehosheba, and this last, remaining heir to Ahaziah’s throne is the loose end that becomes Athaliah’s undoing. On Joash’s seventh birthday, after Jehosheba hides him for six years (2 Kgs. 11:3), Jehoiada the priest calls together a guard of priests (2 Kgs. 11:4–8). Together, these priests anoint Joash as king in Jerusalem (2 Kgs. 11:12) and then put Athaliah to death (2 Kgs. 11:16). Joash (also called Jehoash; e.g., 2 Kgs. 11:21) eventually becomes a godly king who invests significantly in repairs for the temple (2 Kgs. 12:4–16).
Through this, Yahweh preserves the house of David from Athaliah’s bloodthirsty, power-grabbing purge of Ahaziah’s sons—her own grandchildren. We have already seen a couple of points in which Yahweh promises to preserve the house of David despite the sin of David’s descendants (1 Kgs. 15:4; 2 Kgs. 8:19), and this theme will run all the way to the very end of 2 Kings. There, in the final words of this book, after Judah has been dragged off into captivity by the Babylonians, we see Jehoiachin—who was a wicked king (2 Kgs. 24:9)—released from prison and provided for by the Babylonian king. Despite the wickedness of David’s descendants such as Ahaziah, Jehoiachin, and so many others, Yahweh nevertheless preserves the house of David, according to his word.
And this Yahweh does to preserve the line not only extending from David but also toward Jesus. For the sake of Yahweh’s servant David, and for the sake of raising up Yahweh’s own son in the line of David, Yahweh defends that lineage from even the most brutal attacks on it.
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.