And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him. ~2 Chronicles 23:1
All of us will face uncomfortable decisions that we have to make in life. This is especially true when they are decisions that affect other people’s lives or that take a stand against something that is wrong. Jehoiada the high priest was at a place in life where he had to make an important decision. Let us see how he strengthened himself for this.
We see the carnage.
“But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.” After King Ahaziah was killed by Jehu, Athaliah seized the opportunity to try to eradicate a male heir to the kingdom. She wanted full control of the kingdom of Judah so that she could advance her heinous and idolatrous ways. Without any conscience about the matter, she commanded the soldiers to kill all the male heirs to the kingdom. She pulled off a takeover of the kingdom and thought to have eliminated any threat to her control. The devil wants to do a full takeover of our lives and kill any seed of potential growth in our lives.
We see the covert.
“But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.” Jehoshabeath and her husband, Jehoiada, took Joash and hid him from Athaliah. They kept Joash hidden from her in the house of the Lord. Our life is to be hid with Christ in God. Our praying should be done in secret. The “hidden life” is a life that is in seclusion from the distractions of the world.
We see the courage.
Jehoiada counted down the days until it was time for him to bring Joash out and lead the kingdom to install him as king. Jehoiada strengthened himself in conviction. He had a conviction that Joash was the true king who was to sit on the throne. Jehoiada strengthened himself in courage. He was courageous in what he did. He knew the cost. If his attempt failed, he would be killed for treason. He counted the cost and moved forward. Jehoiada strengthened himself for the task of rightly putting Joash on the throne. He prepared himself to assume whatever risks and not stop short of getting the rightful king on the throne. We must be strong in courage when it is time to do something that is right.
We see the company.
Jehoiada enlisted the key men in the kingdom to come alongside of him in his endeavor. All the men were in agreement with the plan to install Joash as king and to dethrone Athaliah. I believe that he used those seven years that he kept Joash in hiding to vet out who was true or not true. When it came time, all the key men covenanted with him and agreed to work seamlessly together. We must not only be strong individually but also collectively with those who agree with the cause we are standing for.
We see the conquering.
The result was the overthrow of Athaliah and her evil reign. If Jehoiada had not strengthened himself in faith and courage, Joash would not have received the kingdom. Be ready to strengthen yourself whenever you face a decision that is tough, and have faith in God.
Have a strengthened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 24-26