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Jehosheba Hides Joash
Now we go back twenty-eight years, to the beginning of the reign of Jehu. He had just killed Ahaziah. Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah and daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, had seized power. She killed her own offspring. She didn’t have natural feelings. She did not need to kill many because Jehu had worked thoroughly in the execution of his commission.
Behind this woman stands Satan himself, who was out to eradicate the seed of David to prevent the Messiah from being born. But the issue did not get out of God’s control. Jehosheba, the sister of Ahaziah, hid Joash, the son of Ahaziah, and thereby prevented the total extermination of the offspring of David. This child, like the Lord Jesus later, was taken away and hidden to stay out of the hands of murderers. Jehosheba means ‘the LORD is faithful’. The LORD would not destroy Judah and kept a lamp burning for the house of David until the birth of the Messiah.
Joash was secretly fed and raised in one of the rooms of the temple and was therefore connected to the house of the LORD. He lived with the LORD. Through this hidden place he was as it were in death. When he became king, it was, so to speak, through death. At the same time, during all that period, the faithful thought that it was over and out with the kingship according to God’s thoughts. Christ is also now “hidden in God” (Col 3:3) and waits until the moment He can show Himself to His people. For the faithful now this is no hidden thing, for they see Him in glory, while the world does not see Him.
Athaliah thought she could control everything. She had the power. It was a representation of the power of the papacy, of the roman-catholic church, which kills all who do not subject themselves to her (Rev 17:6). She has felt supremely powerful and has absolutely no consideration for the coming of Christ. In this woman we see the mystery of lawlessness that develops in the bosom of Christianity, i.e. the professing church.
Only Jehoiada and Jehosheba and a few more knew of the hidden king. The whole nation was ignorant of him. It is the same now. Only a few know of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus dwells in the Spirit in what is today His temple, the church, and the body of the believer. This is hidden from the world, while unfortunately many Christians are also unaware of this.
When the believers come together as a church, they can also experience this in a special way. Christ is there, through the Spirit Himself in the midst. Although He is invisible to the natural eye, the Spirit enlightened eyes of the heart see Him. The time of His appearance is coming, when the time is fulfilled, when the fullness of the times – “the seventh year” (2Kgs 11:4) – has come (Eph 1:10).
Jehoiada the priest called the army commanders to come to him. He brought them to the area where the presence of the LORD was noticeable, the house of the LORD. In His presence he made a covenant with them and put them under oath. Then he showed them “the king’s son”. The covenant contained a wonderful promise with an important spiritual application. It was primarily about obedience and faithfulness to the Lord. If this is present, or at least if the longing for it is felt deeply, then we see the Lord Jesus of Whom Joash is a picture here.
Then Jehoiada commanded the captains how they would protect the young king. For us it means that when we see Jesus, we will also desire to protect Him from the attacks of unbelief. The Lord Jesus protects us, but it is also true that we are called to protect and defend His glory with spiritual weapons. God has entrusted us with the glory of His Son to carry through the world.
Joash Crowned and Anointed
The captains executed the orders of Jehoiada exactly as they had been told. We see here that captains over others can only act well if they themselves are obedient to those who are above them (cf. Mt 8:9). The men they had under their command are the men who served or had served “on the sabbath”. The sabbath speaks of the rest of God. Only those who know and participate in the rest of God can be used to protect the king of God.
For us, it means that only believers whose feet are shod “with the preparation of the gospel of grace” (Eph 6:15) are able to properly protect the honor of Christ. These are the believers who go their way on earth with the peace of God in their hearts, who show in their lives that they are connected with Christ in heaven, as the letter to the Ephesians makes beautifully clear.
The weapons given to the men to defend themselves were not new weapons. These were the old, familiar weapons that King David had already used. It is mentioned particularly that they had come from the sanctuary. Jehoiada made a statement with these that he was going back to “what was from the beginning” (1Jn 1:1). He asked, as it were, “for the ancient paths” (Jer 6:16). The ancient Word of God is unrivalled in its battle-force. The spears are to kill the enemy, the shields are to protect themselves from the enemy’s counter-attacks.
The weapons with which we must fight are not the weapons of the flesh, but of the Spirit (2Cor 10:3-5). To use them properly, they must come from the presence of the Lord Jesus. They are weapons that have been tested by Him. When we are in His presence we see how He wants us to use the weapons. We then see that the strength for our struggle lies in showing His features.
Thus armed, the men stood around the king, weapons in their hands, ready for use. The positions they took up were all connected to the house of the LORD and the altar. For us it means that the spiritual battle is fought in connection with God’s house. The church is closely linked to the Lord Jesus and the truth of this must be defended by us for the sake of Him Who dwells there.
Once that position was taken, the king could come out and be crowned. The crown was a diadem. The word ‘diadem’ here is the translation of the Hebrew word ‘nezer’. From this word is also derived the Hebrew word translated with ‘Nazarite’. This indicates that the ceremony was more a consecration than a coronation. This was confirmed by the anointing. The kingship of Joash was dedicated to God.
He also received “the testimony” that is, the law, as the guide for his government (Deu 17:14-20). He was to govern in accordance with the Word of God. His ordination took place before God and he was called to live and reign according to the Word of God.
We have nothing else for our stay on earth. The believers now are also “a royal priesthood” (1Pet 2:9). We are dedicated, anointed and called to proclaim God’s virtues in the world, and this is only possible if God’s Word is our guide in this. It is not about persuasion or training, but about knowing our position and obedience to live in accordance with that position.
Athaliah Put to Death
Athaliah heard the sound of the tribute to the king. She was very frightened. She had lived and ruled for years with the thought that every descendant with a right to the throne was dead. Now it turned out that there was one still living.
If we faithfully show and declare our testimony to the world and the religious world, people cannot ignore the fact that the Lord Jesus, whom they believe to be dead, still lives. It is our duty to make that clear. The reactions to this will be different. There are people who repent and also join the Lord Jesus. However, there are also people whose hatred becomes visible and noticeable.
The shock that went through Athaliah did not bring her to her knees, but in strong resistance. To convince herself that what she heard and feared was true, she went to the temple, where she will have rarely been before. On entry, she saw Joash standing by the pillar, the place to be for the consecration of a king.
The sight of the king led Athaliah to tearing her clothes. This was not a sign of her humility and repentance. She screamed out that betrayal was being committed. She was completely blind to the betrayal she had committed herself during her seizure of power.
Her shouts did not elicit any sympathy from the people. Jehoiada ordered to take her out of the temple complex. She must be put to death, but not in the temple. Even those who followed her must be put to death. There was to be no pardon for her and anyone who placed himself on her side. Then Athaliah was killed at the king’s house, where she had put her false claim for such a long time. She was killed at the place where she had shown her pride.
Here the priest made a new covenant between the LORD, the king and the people. It was a renewal of the old covenant about the people of Israel, that they would also be in practice, “the LORD’s people”.
When the covenant was made, and the people are again in a right relationship with the LORD, the Spirit inspired all the people of the land to go out and tear down the idols and all things pertaining to them. Then Jehoiada reinstated the offices for the house of the LORD. Also, when by the working of God’s Spirit, we throw out of our lives what is not profitable, there is again room for worship and serving the Lord.
Joash on the Throne
Athaliah was killed at the king’s house. The way for the king according to God’s appointment was now clear. The king could come out of hiding in the LORD’s house and sit on his throne. This speaks of the return of the Lord Jesus from the sanctuary to openly accept His reign on earth. It also speaks of the moment in the believer’s life when the Lord Jesus sits down on the throne of his heart and submits his whole life to Him.
All the people of the land were happy. The ‘people of the land’ refer to the people who did their work in simplicity. Intellectuals and governors usually live in cities. The city, where undoubtedly Athaliah’s supporters still lived, remained quiet. These followers of the old regime hypocritically submitted to the king.
Restoration had begun, but it was still very weak. Joash was only seven years old when he became king. He still had to grow in his kingship.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 2 Kings 11". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13