May 7, 2017 – The King Revealed
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Changing World, Unchanging God
2 Kings 11:1-21 (ESV)
1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. 3 And he remained with her six years, hidden in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah reigned over the land.
4 But in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of the Carites and of the guards, and had them come to him in the house of the Lord. And he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord, and he showed them the king’s son. 5 And he commanded them, “This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, those who come off duty on the Sabbath and guard the king’s house 6 (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards) shall guard the palace. 7 And the two divisions of you, which come on duty in force on the Sabbath and guard the house of the Lord on behalf of the king, 8 shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”
9 The captains did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they each brought his men who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 And the priest gave to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the Lord. 11 And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house on behalf of the king. 12 Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she went into the house of the Lord to the people. 14 And when she looked, there was the king standing by the pillar, according to the custom, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 Then Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains who were set over the army, “Bring her out between the ranks, and put to death with the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord.” 16 So they laid hands on her; and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death.
17 And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, that they should be the Lord’s people, and also between the king and the people. 18 Then all the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest posted watchmen over the house of the Lord. 19 And he took the captains, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching through the gate of the guards to the king’s house. And he took his seat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet after Athaliah had been put to death with the sword at the king’s house.
21 Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.
This story reminds us that sometimes in hopeless situations things are not what they seem and God’s plans are still in place.
I) A Hidden King
- Athaliah kills her own grandchildren and claims the throne (v1,3)
- Jehosheba hides Joash, an heir of the throne and descendent of David (v2)
- for 6 years it would appear as though the line of David had ended
II) A Remarkable Revelation
- v4 Jehoida the priest shows the captains of the guards the king’s son
- v12 Joash is revealed to the people, on the Sabbath (v5) in the seventh year (v4)
III) A Celebratory Restoration
- may have noted Jehu’s zeal (v16), but also his half-hearted v13-14 the rejoicing is quite loud
- the covenant is renewed, restoring the relationship of God, people and king (v17) and Joash, once hidden in the temple, now rules openly in the palace (v19)
- the people of the land rejoice and the city is quiet (v20)
Questions for Reflection
- What promises of God or Bible teachings do you think are most central, foundational, or essential? Do you ever find yourself wavering on any of those? What do you think are the greatest challenges to sustained belief?
- What are some strategies for faithfully following Christ when there is violent opposition to the church, when Christian faith is marginalized, or when it seems like there are corrupt individuals in positions of leadership (and people, not just Christians, are suffering)?
- Colossians 3:4: “when Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory”. How do you live in the tension of the claim that Christ is ruling in the heavenly realms and will come to judge the living and the dead, and yet daily news gives the impression the world is in the hands of all sorts of corrupt leaders? What does it mean that even your own life is hidden, and that Christians are waiting the revelation of what is currently concealed?
- When the people saw that David’s descendant had been kept safe and the throne was being restored, there was great rejoicing and the people experienced peace. Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that a descendant of David would sit on the throne forever – how should this be a source of rejoicing and peace for those who hope in Jesus? How does faith that Jesus has fulfilled, and will one day fully realize all the promises of blessing for those who hope in him, bring joy and peace into our lives now?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father in heaven, as you govern this messy world, we don’t always understand what is happening. We confess our ignorance, and acknowledge our fear, our discouragement, and the ways we get frustrated, living as though we know all there is to know, or that we know better than you. We lack the faith to hold to what you have said and are too swayed by what we see and experience. We don’t remain steadfast and faithful while we wait for you to act. Forgive our foolishness and all of the wrong thoughts, words and deeds that flow from it. Renew us as we remember the new covenant in Christ, and turn our hearts and thoughts to you so that we live in hope and walk in the truth. Amen.