Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 21 – 24
Today’s Reflection: 2 Chronicles 23:12-13
12) When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went into the house of the LORD to the people. 13) And when she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments leading in the celebration. And Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!”
Many consider Jezebel to be the most wicked woman in the Bible, but I beg to differ. Consider Athaliah. Not only did she counsel her son Ahaziah to sin against God when he became king, following in the idol-worshiping ways of the wicked Ahab (2 Chronicles 22:3), but when he died she attempted to wipe out all of his sons, her own grandchildren, some just infants, so she could rule Judah as queen herself (2 Chronicles 22:10-12).
For 6 years she thought her wicked plot had succeeded, as she forced the people of Judah to do as she wished and to follow her sinful ways. Then one day a commotion drew her into the house of the Lord (a place usually foreign to an idol-worshiper such as herself). It was then Athaliah saw her 8-year-old grandson Joash, arrayed in royal robes, surrounded by Levites led by the high priest Jehoida in proclaiming “long live the king”. Athaliah cried “Treason! Treason!” But the true treasonous act had been hers, a descendant of an idolatrous Israelite kings denying a son of David from reigning on the throne of Judah (2 Chronicles 23:3). Now the day of reckoning had come. The true king was on the throne. Athaliah’s false reign was over. So was her life (2 Chronicle 23:14-15).
This story has interesting parallels to the battle for rulership of our world. Through deception Satan ascended to the throne of earth, and through murder he has attempted to keep it. When the prophesies of the birth of the Messiah came to King Herod, he made it law to kill every male child (Matthew 2:16-18). But just as there were faithful people willing to risk everything to preserve a remnant of the house of David to eventually reclaim the throne of Judah, God has always had his faithful servants, willing to risk everything for the cause of man’s salvation. The wise men who had told Herod about the birth of the Messiah but were warned in dreams that the king sought to kill the child, so they did not return the same way (Matthew 2:12).
Jesus was preserved in His infancy, and Satan’s other attempts to deceive or kill him all failed. The crucifixion when Satan thought he could keep Jesus in the tomb, turned out to be Christ’s greatest glory, and affirmed the Messiah as the true king of this world (Hebrews 12:2). The only thing that remains is what we call ‘the day of the Lord’ (Daniel 7:22, Matthew 24:29-31), and what Satan recognizes as his day of reckoning. The day the true king of this world is revealed as such in the sight of all. On that day, Satan will cry ‘treason!’ and try to make any and every excuse for himself. He and those who follow him will not escape their fate any more than Athaliah was able to escape hers.
Matthew 25:31 – When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Revelation 6:15-17 – 15) Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16) calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”