But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain. — 2 Kings 11:2
Ray was an adventuresome boy, and several times that spirit of adventure put his life in serious danger. On one occasion, he and several other young boys took a small rental boat out into the ocean to go fishing without telling their parents. When they were some distance from land, a strong wind came up, and they found themselves being blown out to sea. Their little boat rolled with the force of the waves, and water poured over its side, threatening to swamp them. The situation was dire! Then, remembering that their mothers had told them to call on the Lord if they were ever in need, the boys knelt and began to pray. As soon as they finished praying, they spotted a large boat coming their way! The boys were rescued and soon were safe on dry land.
A few years later, Ray was hauling clay out from under a bluff for a brick-making company. Ray’s horses had just pulled his cart out of the way when the whole mountainside caved in. If he had hesitated a moment longer, he would have been buried under tons of dirt. Again, the Lord preserved him from certain death.
Even after he became a Christian, Ray’s life was spared more than once. As a young man, he was flying a small plane near Tulsa, Oklahoma, when it went into a tailspin and fell four hundred feet to the ground. When his broken body was taken from the wreckage, he was not expected to live, but he prayed that God would heal him. The Lord touched him in an amazing way, repairing bones, ligaments, and internal injuries, and he was released from the hospital after only ten days.
A few years later, while piloting the missionary vessel the <em>Lower Light</em> at the north end of the Georgia Straits, Ray and his crew were in a storm. God preserved the life of Ray Crawford — and thus, His purpose for the man who served as the General Overseer of the Apostolic Faith organization for twenty-nine years was fulfilled.
Several thousand years earlier, as recorded in our focus verse, God had providentially intervened to preserve a little boy: young Prince Joash was saved from death at the hands of wicked Queen Athaliah, who had plotted to kill all the king’s sons. God had promised that the Messiah would be born through David’s descendants, and God’s purpose was fulfilled through Joash’s survival.
Your life story probably does not include the dramatic events that occurred in the lives of Ray Crawford and young Joash, but perhaps you can look back at times when God spared your life. Even if you are not aware of specific occasions when His protecting hand has been over you, be assured, it has been there! Perhaps in eternity you will learn of the times when you were unknowingly delivered from danger or death.
God has a purpose for your life too, just as he did for Ray Crawford and Joash. Take time today to thank God for His divine protection. And then make a commitment in your heart to fulfill the purpose and plan God has for you!
In this chapter, the focus is upon two rulers of Judah: Athaliah and Joash. Athaliah was the daughter of King Ahab, of Israel, and Jezebel, his wife. Athaliah married Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and their son, Ahaziah, became the king of Judah. He was the father of Joash (which is also spelled Jehoash). Therefore, Joash was the great-grandson of Jehoshaphat, one of the better kings of Judah, as well as great-grandson of Ahab, one of the most wicked kings of Israel.
Jehu, who recently had been anointed king of Israel, killed Athaliah’s son, King Ahaziah of Judah, while he was visiting his uncle Jehoram, son of Ahab. Athaliah became wild with grief after Jehu killed Ahaziah, and went on a rampage to eliminate all of the royal seed and make herself queen. Jehosheba rescued Joash, who was of the lineage of David, from the threat of death by his own grandmother’s hand. Athaliah ruled Judah for six years while Joash was growing up in hiding.
Jehosheba was the aunt of the one-year-old Joash, and wife of Jehoiada the priest. She was a sister to Ahaziah, but probably was not the daughter of Athaliah. After rescuing the child Joash along with his nurse, she hid him in her bedchamber for six years. Because she was the wife of the priest and they lived in the Temple, this was an excellent place to hide the child from an idol-worshiper with no interest in God.
In the seventh year, her husband, Jehoiada the priest, formulated a plan for the coronation of Joash. He assembled the rulers and the captains of the guard in the House of the Lord, and divided them into groups. A third of the guards were around the king’s house, the gate of Sur, and the gate behind the guard. Two-thirds guarded the House of the Lord, with part of that group surrounding the boy. The priests, officers of the host, and guards who went off duty on the Sabbath remained in service until the evening, while those just coming on duty arrived in the morning of the Sabbath. Therefore, Jehoiada chose the Sabbath because the largest possible security was on hand to protect the new king. “Within the ranges” (verse 8) refers to inside the ranks of the guards.
Jehoiada the priest brought Joash in, heavily guarded, and gave him the “testimony” (another name for the Law of Moses), probably in the form of multiple scrolls. Jehoiada was on the side of the Lord God of Israel, and he became the spiritual force and counselor for the young king.
Athaliah heard the sound of the coronation of Joash, and was not pleased. The priest commanded that she be slain “without the ranges,” or outside of the guarded area. Anyone who followed her was to be killed, as well as Mattan, the priest of Baal. Jehoiada was the catalyst for spiritual reform among the people as he set about destroying the houses of Baal and slaying the priests of Baal.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah
F. Athaliah of Judah (11:1-21)
1. The purge by Athaliah (11:1)
2. The preservation of Jehoash (11:2-3)
3. The anointing of Jehoash (11:4-12)
a. The plot by Jehoiada (11:4-8)
b. The anointing (11:9-12)
4. The demise of Athaliah (11:13-16)
5. The revival under Jehoiada (11:17-21)
Just as God preserved Joash for a purpose, God has brought you to this point of life for a reason. As you allow God’s plan to be worked out in your life, it will bring glory to Him and fulfillment to you.