Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 23:1-21. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 23:1-3 (NIV) 1 In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He made a covenant with the commanders of units of a hundred: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. 2 They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem, 3 the whole assembly made a covenant with the king at the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son shall reign, as the LORD promised concerning the descendants of David.
On verses 1-21: Jehoiada the priest has spent years hiding and protecting young Joash, the rightful heir to the throne of Judah, from the murderous queen mother Athaliah. Now Jehoiada is ready to proclaim Joash as the new king. He gathers the military, religious and family leaders of Judah together at the temple and says to the whole assembly, “The king’s son shall reign” (v3). At the same time Jehoiada takes a number of steps to protect Joash:
He organizes the priests and Levites to stand guard at the doors, the royal palace, the foundation gate, and the temple courtyards (v4-5);
He gives orders to make sure that no one enters the temple except the priests and Levites on duty (v6);
He makes sure that Joash is always accompanied by armed Levites (v7);
He mobilizes all the priests and Levites to work overtime for these purposes (v8);
He arms the military commanders with shields from the temple (v9) and stations them around Joash (v10)
With all these security guards and security measures in place, Jehoiada and his sons safely take Joash, present a copy of the law to him and proclaim him king (v11) to the delight of the people. A dismayed Athaliah is put to death (v12-15) and the temple where she worshiped her idol Baal is destroyed (v17). Meanwhile Jehoiada leads the king and the people in rededicating themselves to the Lord (v16), restores worship in the temple of the Lord (v18-19), and places the young king on his throne in the palace (v20). The result: “and all the people of the land rejoiced. And the city was quiet, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.”
What can we learn from this?
For there to be true and lasting peace in your life, you need a change of government. It’s as if all of us, for as long as we can remember, have been ruled by an Athaliah, that self-willed propensity within each of us to want to call our own shots, hoard power and be in control, even though we are actually not qualified to rule our own lives. Meanwhile there is a rightful ruler, a true heir who deserves the throne of our hearts. His name is Jesus. When you let Jesus take the throne, a true and quiet peace begins to take over your life.
How do you experience that change in government? First, like Jehoiada, proclaim who your new ruler is. Just as Jehoiada said to the whole assembly, “The king’s son shall reign” (v3), something powerful happens when you proclaim in your heart, “Jesus is Lord” (see Romans 10:9). Second, just as Jehoiada took practical steps to protect the young king Joash, you need to guard your heart for Jesus and protect your relationship with Him, particularly your time in the Word, your time with your church, and your time in His presence. Do not allow lesser things to get in the way. Third, just as Joash could not rule peacefully or freely while Athaliah was still grasping for power, you need to do away with the idols in your life that used to control you. When you take these steps, peace and joy fueled by the Holy Spirit will rest on your life.
Lord Jesus, You are far more qualified and far more able to rule over my life than I am. Today I proclaim You my king, over and above any idols that used to control me. Please help me to guard my heart and to protect my relationship with You, so that You would always have free reign in my life. Thank You for the peace and joy when You are truly king. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!