Jehosheba was the daughter of King Jehoram… and the sister of King Ahaziah; she was of royal blood. She was married to an influential priest named Jehoiada; she had a spiritual mindset.
She rescued – saving from death – her infant nephew, Joash, from the family massacre ordered by his grandmother, Athaliah.
You may not have ever heard of her. But, if it were not for her quick thinking and brave actions, the entire royal dynasty of Judah – the descendants of David and the ancestors of Jesus – would have been wiped out. That means… she secured the family line that would produce the Messiah!
The Bible only mentions her in 2 verses, but these 2 verses say a lot about her character:
– 2Kings 11:2… See 1Kings 11:1-3.
Athaliah, Judah’s 7th Ruler:
* The Ones the Evil Queen Murdered (v.1)
* The One the Evil Queen Missed (v.2,3)
– 2Chronicles 22:11… See 2Chronicles 22:10-12.
* The Elimination of Rivals (v.10)
After a man named Jehu killed King Ahaziah, his mother, Athaliah, took the opportunity to rule… and began killing off the entire royal family, who she saw as a threat to her throne.
* The Escape of Joash (v.11)
Jehosheba acted quickly, and saved her 1year-old nephew, Joash, by hiding him in the temple with herself and her husband. Evidently, the temple was the last place the queen would look… or even enter!
* The Execution of Athaliah (v.12)
Jehosheba & Jehoiada secretly raised Joash for 6years in the temple built by Solomon, which lay partially in ruins. On the 7th year, Jehoiada and the other priests devised a plan to re-establish the Davidic line in Judah through the crowning of the boy, Joash (on his 7th birthday). When the plan was implemented, Queen Athaliah heard the noise of the people shouting “Long Live the King!”… and traced the noise to the temple… where she found her grandson – whom she thought dead – sitting on the throne!
She tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!”. Jehoiada ordered that she be killed for her many crimes… but not in the temple. So, she was put to death in the gateway leading from the horse stalls to the royal palace, thus ending the reign of Athaliah… and beginning the reign of the boy-king, Joash.
Chances are, none of us will ever rescue a future king from being murdered as Jehosheba did. In fact, none of us may ever rescue someone who is intended to be murdered. But, we can all be safe places for those God places in our lives. we can offer our families, friends, and neighbors the security that comes from knowing they are loved and valued. They need to know we are a safe place… where secure conversations can take place. We need to be a safe place others can run to in times of trouble.
You may not be able to save the world, but you can experience the joy that comes from knowing you are someone’s safe place.
Even when evil has a the upper hand, we are still called to do good where and when we can. We may not be able to change everything, but we can each do something… and we ought to. We never know what effect a single act might have.
* Small acts done in obedience to God can have tremendous results!
You can read Jehosheba’s story in 2Kings 11:1-3; 2Chronicles 22:10-12.