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15. Jehoram and Ahaziah, Kings of Judah

October 12, 2010

Text:    II Chronicles 21:22:12

Harmony Texts:          II Kings 8:16-29

 Outline:           I.     Jehoram Rules Judah                               II Chronicles 21:1-20

                               II.    Ahaziah Rules Judah                                 II Chronicles 22:1-9

                               III.  Athalia Rules Judah                                  II Chronicles 22:10-12

 Context/Discussion/Comments:

                 These two kings together with the kings of Israel discussed in Lesson 14 ruled during the years 852-841BC and during the time of Elisha’s ministry which we will cover next.  Jehoram was a co-ruler or king in training for 2 years prior to Jehoshaphat’s death.

                 Upon Jehoshaphat’s death, Jehoram becomes sole king.  He was the older of 7 sons and married Ahab’s [king of Israel] daughter.  She was a bad influence and Jehoram followed Israel’s evil ways, killing his brothers and promoting idolatry among  Judah.  Only the Lord’s covenant with David prevented his immediate destruction.  Instead the Lord raised up Edom to rebel against Judah and they are rebelling to this day.  Elijah writes Jehoram concerning his evil ways and idolatrous behavior announcing he will be struck with an illness and die.  The Lord also raised up the Philistines and Cushites to invade Judah, rob the palace wealth, and kidnap and kill all his wives and sons except Ahaziah, his youngest.  Jehoram became ill and died after reigning eight years just as Elijah had prophesied.  Judah did not mourn his death.

                 Ahaziah is made king and reigned only 1 year.  He too did evil and walked in the ways of Ahab and his father instead of the ways of his grandfather, Jehoshaphat.  In fact he even took the counsel of Israel’s leaders and went to war against Aram.

                 Jehoram, king of Israel is wounded fighting Aram so he returns to Jezreel to recover.  Ahaziah, king of Judah, visits him.  They travel to visit Jehu [who was anointed by Elisha to destroy the house of Ahab; I Kings 19:16, II Kings 9:6-10] on the battle field of Ramoth Gilead.  There Jehu executes Jehoram, the house of Ahab, Ahaziah’s relatives, and Judah’s princes.  Jehu locates Ahaziah hiding in Samaria and kills him too. 

                 Now there is no king in either Israel or Judah.  Ahaziah’s mother, Ahab’s daughter Athalia, sees that her son is dead and kills the remaining royal family.  But the aunt of Joash, Ahaziah’s youngest son, hides Joash in the temple for 6 years while Athalia ruled Judah. 

Lessons/Applications: 

  1. Failure to follow God and worship Him removes the climate of peace with both nations and individuals.  God uses illness and war as His tools to change our ways and turn back to Him.  We may consider this as punishment but they are really patient acts of a loving parent to his chosen children.
  2. Be on guard and do not ally with those who are evil and refuse to acknowledge God and His sovereignty over all things.  This is true for nations, businesses, and individuals.
  3. God takes decisive action when we suddenly turn our back on Him.  God gives us warnings when we stray but we must look for and listen to them and heed them.
  4. God foresees our future and puts plans in place to facilitate our redemption.  He is faithful.  Let us also be faithful and accept His plan of redemption.
  5. God keeps His promises.  He promises to judge our sin and He promises to fulfill His commitments.  He desires to redeem us from our failures, our sin, our evil ways, and has a plan to restore us.  In this story it was Joash but out real restoration is found in His Son, Jesus Christ.
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