Have you ever had to make a decision about a situation where you knew either the final outcome would be successful or a failure? You weighed the pros and cons of your decision, but you knew if no one stepped up to the plate in doing what needed to be done, you would be the one to carry out the plan. You are nervous, and you hope all ends well, and you pray everything will turn out right. But, in your heart you knew if the plan failed, you would have to live with the consequences, and knew you did your best.
This is what happened with Jehosheba. We can read about her in 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 22; 23:11-12, but her decision to carry out this plan far outweighed her not doing anything. I admire her for her bravery, courage and determination and I get comfort in knowing God was completely behind her mission, and His will was going to be carried out through Jehosheba. Before we get into whom she was, let’s get the historical background found in the Scriptures so we can have a clear picture and understanding of who she was and the important task she carried out:
Who is Jehosheba:
FATHER: King Jehoram of Judah
BROTHER: King Ahaziah of Judah
HUSBAND: Jehoiada the Priest
JEHORAM was king of Judah. His father was Jehoshaphat. He came to the throne at age 32 and he reigned for 8 years (2 Kings 8:17). Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter was his wife, and he did evil in the sight of God. This displeased God, but He did not destroy Judah because of His promise to David that there would always be a king from his family line on the throne.
AHAZIAH was 22 years old when he gained the throne. He reigned for one year in Jerusalem (2 Kings 8:26). His mother was Athaliah who was the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel. He did evil just like the house of Ahab. “He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing.” (2 Chronicles 22:3-4). He was King Jehoram of Israel youngest son. His older brothers were carried off in an Arab and Philistine raid (2 Chronicles 21:16-17).
Ahaziah joined his uncle Jehoram in a battle against Hazael, king of the Arameans. In the battle Jehoram was wounded so he went to Jezreel to heal from his wounds. Ahaziah left the conflict and went to go see his uncle Jehoram. While in Jerusalem Ahaziah and Jehoram went to meet the general. It was too late when Jehoram learned of the general’s murderous plot. He witnessed his uncle’s murder and he fled for his life, but he was injured at the pass of Gur in Ibleam. He had enough strength to get to Megiddo where he died (2 Kings 9:22-28).
According to 2 Chronicles 22:10, when Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah realized her son was dead she destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah, and made herself queen. She is the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. Athaliah was married to Jehoram of Judah. Jehoram’s father was Jehoshaphat, and Asa’s grandson. Jehoshaphat and Asa both worshipped God. But there was a delieverer, King Jehoram’s daughter, Jehoshabeath. She took her nephew Joash, the son of Ahaziah, and his nurse, and hid them in the bedroom in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah reigned. Jehosheba’s husband, Jehoiada, a priest, raised Joash. While Athaliah was queen she established the worship of Baal in Judah. She was surprised when she found out one of her grandsons was alive and made king. “Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and said, “Treason! Treason!” (2 Chronicles 21:13). Jehoida, the priest, told the captains to not put her to death in the Temple. She was taken to the Horse Gate of the king’s house where she was put to death (2 Chronicles 23:15).
Jehosheba: A brave woman:
This is an amazing story. How awesome to know Jehosheba, the one person who took it upon herself to save the future king. What made her decide to do this? Did she come to this decision immediately or did she have to think about it?
During the six years Joash was hidden in the temple, I believe she planned her strategy to one-day see to it the rightful king sat on the throne. I am sure she wondered if her plan would work. She was a brave woman to take it upon herself to hide Joash. She had to have a plan in place to keep the child hidden successfully for six years. Food would have to be taken to him secretly; he would need a change of clothes, and medical care when he got sick. This was going to be a major responsibility. She probably did not have many people she could trust to keep the secret, so only designated people were aware of the child being hidden in the Temple.
Once she made the decision to hide the child there was no turning back. If it was discovered the child was alive and hidden in the Temple of God, there would be dire consequences for her and Joash. Would it be worth it to carry out this secret mission? Maybe she knew about the promise God made to King David about having someone from his family on the throne forever. And for this to happen she would be the one to make sure this happened.
Moving past fear:
Many times in life we are faced with difficult situations. We may be hesitant in moving forward. Fear can grip us, and if we let our emotions take full control of our minds, we will not go forward in meeting the challenges. We worry whether or not the plan will work out successfully.
If we are to grow spiritually, we must listen to the Holy Spirit and follow where He will lead us. He will never let us get started with His plan and leave us alone trying to figure out what to do next. Many of us do not like stepping out of our comfort zone. We want to remain in our safe cocoon and take the easy way out. When we do this we cut our blessings short, and we miss out on the full reward God has for us. It is at that point where we have to look at the challenge through spiritual eyes, not physical eyes. I believe that is what Jehosheba did.
You see, God had made a promise to King David, and His Word will not return to Him void. He cannot lie, and He keeps His promises. And in the end Jesus, one of David’s descendants will be the eternal KING to sit on the throne! Amazing how God used this woman of courage to carry out His promise!
The practical life application for us:
An important lesson we can learn from this story is to remember when we keep our focus on Him and not our circumstance; we will be fully equipped to move forward. We should not have any fear. God will let us feel His presence and remind us we are not alone. Never forget God will pave the way for us just like He did for Jehosheba. He was faithful then to guide Jehosheba, and He will be faithful to guide us.