Things take a pretty steep dive into bloody chaos following the death of Jehoshaphat. For a moment, it seems the line of David could be toast.
“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. But Jehoshabeath the king’s daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she would not put him to death. He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.” (22:10-12)
It is incredible how many times the LORD manages to save the last shred of hope in the darkness hour. The end could have come many times over, but here we are, preserved. He uses the one couple in the royal family still faithful to the LORD to keep the line of David from being destroyed.
But no one knew that. Think about those six years. The remnant of Israel, everyone who still feared the LORD, must have been confused. Devastated. David’s line is gone? Every descendant is dead? What about the promise to have a son of David on the throne forever?
Six years of not knowing Joash had been spared. Six years of Athaliah on the throne, making her own reforms. Six years on the heels of an already bad slide following Jehoshaphat’s death.
Hopelessness can make you real sick. Times are tough now (not quite this tough, but still) and I hear a lot of people praying for Jesus to come back pronto and officially let the world burn. Things can seem hopeless.
But we can’t always know about the hidden Joashes. We don’t know what the LORD can still accomplish on the earth in our lifetimes or the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. It doesn’t have to be hopeless, because we can still have faith that a descendant of David is enthroned, even when we can’t see Him.
Where in your life are you currently feeling hopeless? Is there a promise of God you need to remember and cling to? He keeps His promises even when we don’t see them being kept. We don’t have any real right to always have the inside scoop on what the LORD is doing. All we can have is faith.