Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from August 24-30 are provided by Kate Moon who serves as a missionary in E. Asia.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Kings 11:2-3: “But Jehosheba . . . took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.”
My mom became a grandmother last year, and the new addition to our family is the joy of her life. There are pictures of baby Ziggy (his parents started calling him that while he was still just a zygote and the name stuck) all over the house, and though she’s tiring of traveling as she grows older, she’s already gone the length of the country twice to see him.
Grandmothers are usually known to dote on their grandchildren, but not so Queen Athaliah. Because of her ambition to rule, once her son, the king of Judah, was dead, “she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family” (v.1) by trying to kill off all of the royal princes, among whom was her own grandson, baby Joash. What kind of ungodly influence could be so strong that it could trump a woman’s basic instinct to nurture and protect the young? It’s hard to imagine, yet as the country was falling more deeply into the sin of worshipping gods other than the one true God, this is the kind of event that resulted.
In contrast, however, we also see Jehosheba, his aunt, bravely rescuing Joash, believing for a better time to come. Though the six years of rule by an evil queen may have been bleak, all the while, hope was hidden away and growing, preparing to be revealed when the time was right. Sometimes when we look at humanity or the lack thereof in this world, at the distortion of all that was meant to be good, we wonder where the hope has gone. But throughout history, God has always reserved hope, and in due course, the dark times do come to an end.
Is there a situation you are looking at where you are wondering where the humanity has gone? Appalled at the lack of common decency? Take heart, for God has a plan, and he will not wait a moment longer than is necessary. Even if it seems premature (Joash became king at age seven), he will bring that hope to the light as soon as the moment is right.
Dear Lord, when times look dark, help me to place my hope in you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Obadiah 1
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Kings 10:25-27: “In the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign . . . His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.”
Questions to Consider
- At this time, the nation that was originally Israel was split into two kingdoms, “Israel” and “Judah.” Jerusalem and the temple were located in Judah, so it was supposed to be the kingdom that was truer to God, yet what do we notice here?
- Omri led the nation into further idolatry and was the father of Ahab, one of the most wicked kings in the history of Israel. How does Athaliah’s family background help us understand her later actions?
- What warning can we take to heart regarding the sin of idolatry and the influence it can have? Is there idolatry in our lives that we are not dealing with because we don’t take it as seriously as we should?
- There seemed to be no difference between Israel (ruled by the house of Ahab, described as doing evil in God’s sight) and Judah.
- Athaliah came from a family that practiced evil and idolatry; her later slaughter of all the royal princes can be seen as the fruit of this kind of spiritual influence she had received.
- Worshipping other gods puts us under an evil spiritual influence that can cause us to act in less than human ways. If there is even a hint of worship of other gods in our hearts, we need to deal with it swiftly and decisively.
Rather than adding to the darkness, was I part of the hope in the world today? Was I decent human being? Was God my one and only true God today? Did I seek to be ruled and influenced by him and him alone?