Bible Study

Amazing Grace….

I wanted to step away for just a day to write a different blog. God speaks to us if we listen and spend with him. As I’ve been spending more time on my Jesus Genealogy blog, I feel closer to God than I have in the last few months. Why you ask? No reason really…to be honest I haven’t gone to church every Sunday but I do my Bible Studies and listen to various sermons online. Including those of my own Pastor when they’re available. I actually enjoy my church family a lot. I’ve been working a lot to catch up on bills etc. (enough excuses).

We all tend to get to busy, caught up in the day to day grind, we become blind. Blind to what’s around us, and what should take precedence over something else. We all hear the pun, “God didn’t forget to wake you up this morning”…Can you imagine? God wakes up and St. Peter comes and says so and so is here. God’s like, crap I had them down for 50 years from now. “Oh well, send em in I must’ve forgot to set their alarm”…. sounds dumb doesn’t it! Why? Because God puts us first everyday. There’s no reminder needed. No alarm clock. No excuses.

I remembered the story in the Book of John where Jesus healed the man born blind. When they questioned the man he said, “all I know is I was blind but now I can see”. Amazing Grace!!!

2 Corinthians 5:7, one of my favorite verses by the way is, “we walk by faith, not by sight”. So what does the blind man and this have in common?

This blind man didn’t know Jesus before he walked up and cared enough to give him the time of day. Jesus told the people the man didn’t do anything to cause his blindness. Jesus helped him see in more than just a physical sense. I’m sure it affected the man emotionally and spiritually too. We all can have that same feeling of being blind and able to see by listening and reading God’s word. Trust in him with all that you do. This is walking in faith…knowing and trusting that God’s already there to help.

Father, I pray that we all can learn to rely and trust in you more. Lord I pray that when I give something to you to handle that I learn not to take it back. I will walk by faith and not by sight. When I became saved, I was no longer blind. Now I can see. Amen

Bible Study

Athaliah-Queen consort of Jehoram of Judah.

I hope my blog finds you well today. I’ve really been enjoying sharing the word of God with all of you. I’ve even been jotting down some ideas for another blog/bible study after this one is completed. As I stated before, God put this on my heart to share with you the “women of the Bible as it relates to his genealogy”. So that is what I’m doing. Fulfilling my promise to him.

I’m sure at one time or another we’ve all heard of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. There is some controversy whether or not Athaliah was Ahab’s sister or his daughter. Athaliah came from a powerful family and married Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat. It was a marriage that “J” himself arranged. This marriage created an alliance between Israel and Judah. (again a common theme for those days).

The Bible tells us that she was one of the most powerful women in Judah at the time. She was also one of the only women in the Bible to have reigned as a monarch. Jehoram or Joram as I’ve seen it, died and their son Aziah became King. This then made her what was called “GEBIRAH” which is the highest status of women in the kingdom. This position would have had her out rank any other wife, concubine, etc. of her son. Aziah however only reigned for one year. He was assassinated by Jehu an Army General. The murder took place when he was visiting a cousin and the General seized the opportunity to kill them both and seize Judah. Aziah tried to flee by chariot and raced up a hill only to be shot with arrows. The same day Queen Jezebel was killed by being thrown off her balcony. She was left to die and dogs ate her. (wow!) The killing didn’t stop there. All of Athaliah’s male relatives were rounded up what equaled (70 boys and young men) and they were beheaded. Jeru ordered that their heads be put in to baskets and displayed at the city gates. He then took the adult males, put them into a pit and slaughtered them. His goal was to kill ANYONE who might be able to claim the thrown of Israel and Judah. Guess what?

That’s right, Athaliah was still alive and the only survivor. She was spared after all because SHE WAS JUST A WOMAN. There were no surviving sons or grandsons to take over. She became Queen. Women back then as we’ve learned certainly influenced politics but they never ruled on their own. The Priests were furious, they were the ones that helped Jeru plan the attack. Ironically, these same priests are known as the ones that rewrote the history of Judah and painted Athaliah as a villainess. Or did they?

You can’t always believe what you hear on the news or in the papers. Fake news? Perhaps there are some things Trump is correct about. Fake news, I do believe in wholeheartedly. Newspapers and the news in general write stories and publish them to make money and obtain ratings. I can see during Biblical times that it was the same in order to influence certain people or events. As with Athaliah, she was accused of murdering all the children, including her own grandsons so that she could be Queen. I’m not sure why she would have needed to do that since if there was a male heir she still would have had high ranking power. The Bible in the Book of King’s however states that once she saw her son was dead, she had all other heirs killed

Once she was in power, she unfortunately suppressed the worship of Jahweh and promoted the worship of old agricultural gods.

She reigned for 6 years, until a Yahwist party priest did a counter attached. His name was Jehoiada. He claimed to have a male heir that survived the massacre. He said that Athaliah’s sister Jehosheba (whos is also Jehoida’s wife) saved him. There was no way to prove whether or not this boy was the real deal or a substitute. (boy where’s when you need them?) Jehoida proclaimed the boy King, by embarking on the palace and making their way through the guards. The boys’ name was Joash. Athaliah heard the commotion and was taken by surprise. She tried to escape but the mercenaries hunted her down like a wild animal. She was killed outside the Palace gates.

A side note that I found was that there are 3 Kings excluded from the genealogy of Jesus. They are Ahaziah, Jehoash and Amaziah. These three Kings were seen as wicked and cursed from the line of Ahab through is “daughter” (or sister) Athaliah. Joash was to be the sole surviving son of Ahaziah, making Athaliah his grandmother. His mother was Zibiah. Notes that I found stated that he was 7 years old when he took the reign and remained for 40 years. 2 Kings 12:1 and 2 Chronicles 24:11 state he was succeeded by his son Amaziah of Judah. He is said to have been, “righteous all the days of Jehoiada the priest”.

Whether Athaliah killed her family or someone else killed them; the event is tragic. A senseless act that didn’t need to happen. Was it greed? The need for power? Perhaps all of those things played a vital role. We see this still today, people in power putting their own needs ahead of the good of the people. As it played out in this story, the end resulted in a worthy King that followed God and put things back on track. I’m sure that by Athaliah just being a woman, never mind the fact now being in charge infuriated a lot of men during this time. We can only hope that if any of her wrong doings she was somehow a symbol of hope to another young lady that could see herself one day in power but a better example of a leader.

Father, I pray for our country and our leaders during this time of constant turmoil and trouble. I pray that level heads prevail and that they look out for the people instead of trying to make themselves appear to be better. I pray that our leaders seek counsel with you in all that they do. You are the Commander in Chief of all. Lord, I also pray for the men and women serving our great country and that you protect them and bring them home safely. Amen.