Online Bible Commentary
God’s People Took Back Their Country
2 Chronicles 22: 10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were being murdered, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. 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 did not kill him. 12 And he was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land. 23:1 In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. 2 And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3 Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, "Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the Lord has said of the sons of David. 4 This is what you shall do: (NKJV)
King Jehoshaphat had ruled Judah, doing right in the eyes of the Lord. But then, after his death, his son Jehoram became king and turned the country to worship another god, Baal.
After eight years God caused the death of Jehoram and his son Ahaziah became king. Ahaziah followed the same idol worship as his father. God caused his death after he ruled only one year. Now we pick up the story with Ahaziah’s mother taking over Judah. She also worshiped Baal.
Athaliah, upon taking over the country, had her family, the royal family of Judah, put to death (v.10). The only family member saved was the newborn baby Joash. He was stolen and hidden away by his aunt (v.11).
In the seventh year of Queen Athaliah’s reign the people of God formulated a plan to take back the country from idol worship (v.1). It had been over fifteen years since the country had been allowed to worship the God of the Bible.
The priest Jehoida spearheaded the movement to take the country back for God. The first thing he did was to unite all the spiritual leaders, the Levites, in their plan. They also gathered influential community leaders who worshiped God. They all met in the capital city, Jerusalem (v.2).
They brought the “boy king” Joash, who was then seven years old, to the temple and consecrated him as King of Judah (v.3). They then formulated the next step, which was to eliminate the evil queen and to announce the new King of Judah.
King Joash did right in the eyes of the Lord for the next twenty-three years. The religious leaders were instrumental in taking back their country for God.
America today is a country that has turned away from God. It is in need of revival. This is not the first time we have travelled down this road.
The “First Great Awakening” began in the 1740’s. It resulted in the separation of church and state, which was driven primarily by the Baptists insistence that the state had no role to play in the churches.
The “Second Great Awakening” began in the 1790’s. There was a well-publicized attack on Christianity. There were several influences but Tom Paine’s book “The Age of Reason” written in the mid 1790’s was a major influence on the decline of Christianity. Paine was a forerunner to humanism. As a result, Church attendance hit a new low, well under ten percent.
In this case, Presbyterians started the revival in Kentucky and then Methodists and Baptists spread the movement throughout the South and the West. In both awakenings, spiritual leaders brought revival and there was renewed interest in Christianity.
Today, in America, there exists both influences of the Great Awakenings against Christianity, the state and humanism. The federal government, headed by the president and the courts, is attacking Christianity. They are responsible for legitimizing sin in the eyes of the innocent by making laws that make sexual sin, including abortion, the law of the land. In addition, a new wave of humanism has overtaken our country. As a result, church attendance is down and those who live in obedience to the Bible are persecuted.
Like Judah during the reign of King Joash and America in the 1700’s, it is time that God’s people, Christians, took back our country. Spiritual leadership, again, is required to turn our country back to God. Christian leaders must stand united for God, and His Word. Hearts must be turned back to Him. Revival is needed.
Additionally, we must take steps to end attacks on Christianity by our government so that we can live in an environment that fosters Christianity. It will only happen if we elect Godly leaders. We, as Christians, must join together in electing to office people who will uphold and model Christian values.