Corruption was Queen of Judah. They were worshiping idols, which needed to be destroyed, and the people needed to turn back toward God. Under the priest Jehoiada’s leadership, Judah covenanted to ‘be the Lord’s people’ again. It was a new day…
1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. 3 He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.
4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the Lord. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the Lord. Then he showed them the king’s son.
12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the guards and the people, she went to the people at the temple of the Lord. 14 She looked and there was the king, standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her robes and called out, “Treason! Treason!”
16 So they seized her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.
17 Jehoiada then made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
21 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.
2Kings 11:1-4, 12-14, 16-18, 21
What kind of grandmother has her family killed to usurp power for herself? Jehosheba was able to rescue one grandson of Athaliah and hide him away. The wickedness of Athaliah ruled for six years over Judah. And sometimes we see that the answer and the relief from our burdens can take years to be revealed. Six years under a dictator can seem like a life-sentence, I am certain.
The priest, Jehoiada, hid Joash until the seventh year. Is it a coincident that it was the seventh year? Perhaps not, as 7 is the number of perfection and fulfillment in many situations with the Lord. In the seventh year, Jehoiada brought Joash out of hiding to become king. As we see in our story, Joash was 7 when he became king. He was hidden as a babe. Again, the timing of his anointing was perfect.
Perhaps the people needed those six years to come to realize that they, like their leader Athaliah, were going the wrong way and needed to repent (turn around). They were worshiping idols, which they destroyed at the end of our story. Judah finally made a covenant under Jehoiada’s leadership, to ‘be the Lord’s people.’
It was a new day. Under new management.
It’s like that in our relationships with God sometimes too. Sometimes we need a new direction. We need a new day. We need to smash some idols and covenant to be God’s people again. And that’s what Jesus paid for. Jesus’ death and resurrection paid for our sin and guilt and made a way for us to be God’s people for eternity.
So when we walk toward idols and corruption becomes our queen, we need to snap out of it and start over. We need a Joash day and we need to listen to the Jehoiada’s who call us to commitment to God…