I’m preaching tomorrow morning on II Kings 11, the account of the wicked Queen Athaliah. Upon taking the throne after the death of her son Ahaziah she commenced murdering all of the royal grandchildren in an attempt to eliminate the royal line of David. Someone has said that Athaliah was a bad grandmother on two counts: she killed all her grandchildren and she forgot about one. This was a deliberate attempt to thwart God’s promise as stated in II Samuel 7:16: And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.
For six years Athaliah reigned and no one was aware that the wife of the priest Jehoida had rescued little Joash and hidden him in the temple. What must those who had not bowed the knee to Baal have thought about God’s promises during that time? I came across this question in a commentary, “Did someone attempt to spiritualize this promise in light of the apparent failure of fulfillment?” If you’ve read the chapter you know that Jehoida carefully plans the presentation of the 7-year old King and Athaliah is quickly executed. In the end “all the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet.”
There are still promises in the Bible that have yet to be fulfilled. For various reasons many have begun to assume that God’s promises as stated cannot possibly be literally fulfilled. Some believe that God didn’t really mean what He said. Others spiritualize these promises and make them mean whatever they want them to mean. Still others simply deny God’s Word altogether.
I think that an account like the one found in II Kings 11 is a good reminder to us that God always makes good on His Word. Even when there seems to be no earthly way that His promises can come true we can trust that His ways are higher than ours. A 7 year old king rescued by his aunt probably wasn’t what anyone was expecting. But no one was expecting the Messiah to be born of poor parents, laid in a feeding trough, and first visited by shepherds from the nearby fields.