2 Chronicles 23 … Consider the Strength of His Word

Now in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took captains of hundreds… (23:1).

At least six years in hiding. Hiding the one true heir in the line of David; one sole survivor qualified to inherit the throne. The enemy was furiously at work, holding nothing back in the attempt to extinguish the light of His promise.

Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever, (2 Chronicles 21:7).

And to the naked eye, the odds might appear to be leaning towards a win for the enemy with Athaliah’s frenzied execution of the royal offspring.

Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah, (2 Chronicles 22:10).

The same scenario is described in 2 Kings 11, and the implications of her treachery bring a near fatal blow to the line of David.

From NIV Study Bible: “she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring,” (2 Kings 11:1):
“By this time the royal family in Judah had already been reduced to a mere remnant. Jehoram, the late husband of Athaliah and the father of Ahaziah, had killed all his brothers when he succeeded his father Jehoshaphat on the throne. Jehu had slain another 42 members of the Royal House of Judah, perhaps including many of the sons of Jehoram’s brothers (10:12-14; 2 Ch 22:8-9) and the brothers of Ahaziah had been killed by marauding Arabs (2 Ch 22)… This attempt to completely destroy the house of David was an attack on God’s redemptive plan — a plan that centered in the Messiah, which the Davidic covenant promised.”

In analyzing the situation with the naked eye, the prospects for David’s line to continue look bleak. But now, after six long years, Jehoiada is moved to act. What moved him?

Now in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, (23:1).

And how did he strengthen himself?

“Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David, (23:3).

It was the Word the Lord had spoken that strengthened him. And I can’t help but think that this wasn’t the first time, as though God accomplishing His Word was a new thought. I imagine Jehoiada had spent plenty of time in prayer, waiting, asking and wondering how and when God was going to work His Promises out.

Perhaps he had moments of doubt, for how was a young child to rule as Judah’s king? But Jehoiada knew that the fulfillment of God’s Word lay in that little boy, the sole survivor from the line of David. Jehoiada could either wring his hands with worry-filled questions regarding the impracticality of it all, or he could trust that the Almighty, Sovereign Lord God was able to accomplish every Word, just as He had spoken.

Jehoiada, who had probably been clinging to God’s promises his entire life, fixated not on the situation but on His Word, and he was thus immersed into the Strength of His Word; the place where faith is enabled to see God’s answers before they have yet to materialize.

And apparently Jehoiada’s Strength was contagious.

Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoiada said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David, (23:3).

And when the assembly entered into a covenant with the young king, they were declaring their faith and trust in the Lord God and the Strength of His Word.

Consider the Strength of His Word

  • The Strength of His Word summons our Solidarity
    • They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoiada said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David, (23:2-3).
  • The Strength of His Word Supplies our Strategy
    • “This is the thing which you shall do…” (23:4).
  • The Strength of His Word Sustains our Stamina
    • So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, (23:8).
  • The Strength of His Word Solidifies our Success
    • He stationed all the people, each man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, by the altar and by the house, around the king. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, “Long live the king!” (23:10-11).
  • The Strength of His Word Stops all Sedition
    • So they seized her, and when she arrived at the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s house, they put her to death there, (21:15).
  • The Strength of His Word Shapes our Service
    • Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king, that they would be the Lord’s people. 17 And all the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down, and they broke in pieces his altars and his images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 18 Moreover, Jehoiada placed the offices of the house of the Lord under the authority of the Levitical priests, whom David had assigned over the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses—with rejoicing and singing according to the order of David, (23:16-18).
  • The Strength of His Word Settles His Sovereignty
    • He stationed the gatekeepers of the house of the Lord, so that no one would enter who was in any way unclean. 20 He took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the house of the Lord, and came through the upper gate to the king’s house. And they placed the king upon the royal throne, (23:19).
  • The Strength of His Word Seals our Security
    • So all of the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet. For they had put Athaliah to death with the sword, (23:21).

How do we respond to the Strength of His Word?

When things look bleak and hope is hidden, the lure to fixate on the misery of our situation can be strong. Let us learn from Jehoiada.

This account of Jehoiada reminds me of a gold miner during the gold rush era. A miner would stake their claim by driving wooden stakes into the ground. Everything on the marked off land, as well as the land itself, would then be considered to be his legal possession.

Jehoiada drove stakes into the ground to lay claim of God promises for His people. Because he believed every Word God spoke, he could proceed in the Strength of His Word.

Perhaps there may be areas in our own life in need of a stake, places where faith is in need of strengthening to see what has yet to materialize to the naked eye.

Today, let us ask the Lord to reveal our places of weakness, places in need of staking our claim in His Word; that we, like Jehoiada, would strengthen ourselves in the Strength of His Word:

  • to obey Him Who Summons our Solidarity
    • To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing, (1 Peter 3:8-9).
  • to trust Him Who Supplies His Strategy
    • Commit your works to the Lord
      And your plans will be established,
      (Proverbs 16:3).
  • to wait on Him Who Sustains our Stamina
    • He gives strength to the weary,
      And to him who lacks might He increases power.
      30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
      And vigorous young men stumble badly,
      31 Yet those who wait for the Lord
      Will gain new strength;
      They will mount up with wings like eagles,
      They will run and not get tired,
      They will walk and not become weary,
      (Isaiah 40:29-31).
  • to rely on Him Who Solidifies our Success
    • This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success, (Joshua 1:8).
  • to hold fast to Him Who will Stop all Sedition
    • How can a young man keep his way pure?
      By keeping it according to Your word.
      10 With all my heart I have sought You;
      Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
      11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
      That I may not sin against You,
      (Psalm 119:9-11).
  • to submit to Him Who Shapes our Service
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:1-2).
  • to follow Him Who Settles His Sovereignty
    • “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one,” (John 10:28-30).
  • to rest in Him Who Seals our Security
    • In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13).

When things look bleak, when it seems as though the enemy is rising up to destroy the promises of God, we must trust Him. Today, let’s choose to stake our claim and strengthen ourselves in the Strength of His Word.

Let’s Grow Together!

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