2 Chronicles 22: Lessons from Ahaziah and Athaliah’s Reigns for Responding to Evil

Introduction: When evil seems to reign unchecked, it is sometimes easy to lose hope and presume that Satan has won. But God is always in control, even when He temporarily removes His hand of protection. During the reigns of Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah, it would have likely felt to the faithful Jews that evil had won. These three leaders had brought Baal worship to Judah, the place that had been the last refuge of true Yahweh worship. Athaliah was even willing to murder all of her own grandchildren to try to ensure that Baal worship would continue. How should a believer respond in the face of such evil? From this account, God reveals seven things He desires from you when you are faced with evil. These include your: (1) faithfulness, (2) obedience, (3) separation, (4) repentance, (5) prayer, (6) faith / hope, and (7) refuge in Him.

First, Jehoram had introduced Baal worship to Judah, and his son Ahaziah decided to continue this worship. God was nevertheless faithful to keep His promise to David to allow his descendants to continue to rule. God is also faithful to keep His promises to you, even when you sin. He wants you to respond by being faithful to Him. Second, Ahaziah did evil in God’s eyes by normalizing the sin of Baal worship that his father introduced. When evil becomes normalized in society, God wants you to respond by being obedient to His Word and removing the idols in your life. Third, Ahaziah formed a military alliance with the Baal-worshiping nation of Northern Israel as they fought a war against Aram. Unlike Ahaziah who embraced evil people and evil influences, God wants you to separate yourself from unclean people and influences. Fourth, God was forced to judge Ahaziah, just as He judged Jehoram, because they refused to repent of their sins. Unlike these evil leaders, God wants you to repent of your sins so that He will not be forced to discipline you. Fifth, God used an appointed avenger named Jehu to eradicate the house of Ahab in Northern Israel. God allowed Ahaziah to die while he was in Northern Israel as part of this same judgment. But Jehu then proceeded to round up any male relative of Ahaziah and kill them as well, something that God never asked Jehu to do. Unlike Jehu, always pray for God’s direction when responding to evil. Don’t commit the sin of presumption by acting on your own. Sixth, Ahaziah’s death left a power vacuum in Judah. Queen Athaliah responded by seizing power for herself and to maintain the Baal worship that she initiated. To maintain her power, she also tried to kill her own descendants. She lived under Satan’s influence. When you experience such horrific evil, never lose faith and hope in Jesus. Even when evil seems to be winning, Jesus is ultimately in control and will win the war. Finally, although Athaliah tried to kill the line of David, God hid a descendant of David in the Temple for six years to preserve the line of David. The young King Joash found refuge in God’s Church. When you face evil all around you, God also wants you to take refuge in Him. You can find refuge in Him through the body of Christ.

1. Faithfulness: Be Faithful in the Face of Evil Just as God Is Faithful to You. 2 Chr. 22:1-2.

  • Ahaziah succeeds Jehoram as king of Judah. Even though King Jehoram allowed Baal worship into Judah and repeatedly refused to repent when God disciplined him, God allowed his son to succeed him as the king of Judah: “1 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri.” (2 Chr. 22:1-2; 2 Kgs. 8:25-26). Ahaziah became king of Judah during the 12th year of the reign of King Joram in Northern Israel (2 Chr. 22:25). Ahaziah shared the same name as Ahab’s first successor (1 Kgs. 22:51 – 2 Kgs. 1:8). Although the two men named Ahaziah were not biologically related, they shared the same spiritual father. Ahaziah of Judah was Ahab’s grandson. His mother Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kgs. 8:16-18). Athaliah introduced Baal worship to Judah through first Jehoram and then strengthened it through her son Ahaziah (2 Chr. 22:8). She then corrupted all of Judah by making Baal worship an official religion. She would have been celebrated by some for preaching “tolerance.” But God saw her actions as evil. He would soon be forced to judge Judah. He would, however, keep His Davidic Covenant.

  • Ahaziah failed to learn from God’s judgment of his father. After he repeatedly refused to repent, God disciplined Jehoram with a painful and short eight-year reign. God allowed Ahaziah to see how his father died a painful death and as the first king of Judah not to have the honor of being buried in David’s tomb (2 Chr. 21:19-20). Ahaziah had also seen God allow invading Arabs to kill off all of his older brothers (2 Chr. 21:17). But Ahaziah saw no connection between his family’s rebellion and their punishment. Thus, he also refused to obey God’s Word. He instead followed after his father’s evil ways as a Baal worshiper. As a result, God judged him as well with a short one-year reign that took place in or around 841 B.C. (2 Kgs. 8:26). This was the third shortest reign of any king to ever rule Judah. Jehoahaz ruled the shortest time period of a mere 3 months in 609 B.C., and Jehoiachin, aka Jeconiah, reigned 3 months and 10 days in 598 B.C. The short reigns of these wicked rulers was a sign of God’s judgment against them.

  • Be faithful because God is faithful to you. The line of David did not deserve to continue in the face of such evil. But God cannot break His promises. In response to God’s faithfulness, He wants you to be faithful as well. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” (Dt. 7:9). Have you stayed faithful in your walk with Jesus in both good and bad times?

2. Obedience: Be Obedient to God and Remove the Idols in Your Life. 2 Chr. 22:3-4.

  • Ahaziah worships Baal and other Canaanite gods. Ahaziah’s reign was evil because he rebelled against God’s law and continued the Baal worship in Judah that his parents started. “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. He did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.” (2 Chr. 22:3-4). In the Book Kings, he was called “a son-in-law of the house of Ahab.” (2 Kgs. 8:27). He rejected both God’s Word and the counsel of His priests. He instead listened to his mother, a Baal promoter. But she was a counselor of death. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Prov. 13:20).

King Ahaziah embraced evil and worshiped Baal1

  • Ahaziah rejected Solomon’s and Job’s pleas that he listen to God’s counsel. Ahaziah rejected Solomon’s Proverbs on the wisdom of God’s Word: “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction . . . ;” (Prov. 1:8). “Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding,” (Prov. 4:1). In his proverbs, Solomon warned his descendants to listen to Spirit-led counsel of his elders and not rely upon their own understanding: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (Prov. 12:15). “Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days.” (Prov. 19:20). “Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.” (Prov. 8:33). Job also gave this same advice in his writings: “Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding.” (Job 12:12). “I thought age should speak, and increased years should teach wisdom.” (Job. 32:37). “Please inquire of past generations, and consider the things searched out by their fathers. For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, because our days on earth are as a shadow.” (Job 8:8-9). In addition to reading the Word and praying, do you seek advice from Spirit-led leaders?

  • Ahaziah did what seemed right in his own eyes, which led to the death of the nation. Ahaziah also ignored Solomon’s warning: “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). Ahaziah was never interested in searching out God’s will. He only wanted to preserve his power. Yet, his decision to only pursue his own interests led to his destruction and the destruction of his family.

  • Be obedient to God by removing the idols in your life. God called upon the Jews to “destroy” all of the pagan idols and influences in the Promised Land that might corrupt their worship (Dt. 12:1-3; 7:5; Ex. 34:13). But instead of ripping down pagan altars, Jehoram built altars to Baal. Ahaziah built upon his father’s actions by normalizing this evil worship in Judah. Jesus warns believers to make no provision for the flesh: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Ro. 13:14; Col. 3:10). Judging the desires of the flesh includes making sure that you cannot divide your loyalties between God and the idols of the flesh in the world: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13). Like the Jews, Christians must also avoid accommodating these idols of the flesh in their lives. If you have accommodated worldly idols, repent and let the Holy Spirit renew your mind. “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.” (Ro. 12:2). Are you obedient to God’s Word, even when society rejects it? Are there any idols in your life that you need to remove?

3. Separation: Separate Yourself from Unclean People and Influences. 2 Chr. 22:5-6.

  • Ahaziah forms an alliance with Northern Israel against the Arameans. As an outgrowth of his spiritual alliance with Northern Israel, Ahaziah formed a military alliance with it as well: “He also walked according to their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. But the Arameans wounded Joram. So he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.” (2 Chr. 22:5-6; 2 Kgs. 8:28-29). Northern Israel previously lost a war that God did not sanction with Aram over Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22:35-36). When Hazael became the King of Aram in Syria, a new war began between Aram and Northern Israel. Hazael was known for his brutality. This brutal battle resulted in King Joram of Northern Israel being injured. Ahaziah then took his injured uncle to be healed at the city of Jezreel, which was located near the Sea of Galilee.

  • Stay holy and separate from unholy people and influence. God did not want Ahaziah to form an alliance with Joram / Jehoram to defend the Jews of Northern Israel. He instead wanted him to stay separate and apart from the unclean Baal worshippers in Northern Israel. This included his wayward uncle Joram / Jehoram’s desires to wage war. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.”’ (1 Cor. 15:33). “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (Prov. 1:10). “Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man,” (Prov. 22:24). “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;” (Eph. 5:11). Have you separated yourself from unclean influences and unholy people who might corrupt you?

4. Repentance: Repent of Your Sins Or God Will Be Forced to Discipline You. 2 Chr. 22:7.

  • God judges Ahaziah for his evil acts. Because Ahaziah openly embraced evil, God was forced to judge him. “Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram. For when he came, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.” (2 Chr. 22:7). Through a prophet, God anointed Jehu to bring judgment upon the house of Ahab: “You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person both bond and free in Israel. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah.” (2 Kgs. 9:7-9). Ahaziah had made himself and his family firmly connected to his grandfather Ahab. Thus, God allowed Jehu to be His avenger to root out the male line of Ahab within Judah as well.

  • As a just God, He must eventually judge unrepentant sinners. Because God is just (2 Thess. 1:6), He will one day judge all sin (Ps. 94:23). And He will judge His own people before He judges others: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17). “There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,” (Ro. 2:9). During the day of wrath, Jesus will come to judge the nations and His enemies (Joel 2:1; Rev. 8-9; Is. 11:4; 63:1-6; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 9:6; Ps. 110:4-7). Satan and his demons will be judged in the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). But God’s judgment of His people throughout the Old Testament is evidence that He will not limit His judgment to Satan and His followers. Thus, every person must take sin seriously by repenting of their sin and by fearing God by hating evil things (Prov. 8:13). Jesus offers the only way to avoid judgment for sin.

  • Respond to God’s mercy and grace by repenting of your sins. Jesus called upon the people He met to repent and return to Him before they would experience His mercy and grace: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17; Mk. 1:15). “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19). Although David frequently sinned, he showed himself to be a man after God’s own heart by repenting when confronted with his sins. For example, he would later repent when the prophet Nathan confronted him regarding his adultery and murder: “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”’ (2 Sam. 12:13). He also acknowledged his sins in his psalms for the entire country to sing: “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide . . .” (Ps. 32:5). “For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Ps. 51:1). Have you invited the Spirit to expose your sins?

5. Prayer: Always Pray For God’s Direction When Responding to Evil. 2 Chr. 22:8-9.

  • Jehu kills Ahaziah’s family of Baal worshipers. Although God used Jehu as His appointed avenger to judge the Baal worship in both Northern Israel and Judah, Jehu failed to seek God’s guidance regarding who he should kill. Thus, he decided on his own to kill the extended descendants of the deceased king of Judah: “8 It came about when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers ministering to Ahaziah, and slew them. He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, ‘He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart.’ So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom.” (2 Chr. 22:8-9; 2 Kgs. 10:12-14). Jehu was God’s appointed avenger against Ahaziah because he normalized Baal worship (2 Chr. 22:7; 2 Kgs. 9:27-29). But nothing within this mandate included Ahaziah’s extended relatives.

Jehu slaughtered Baal worshipers2

  • God commissioned Ahaziah’s death, but never addressed his nephews and cousins. The Philistines had previously killed Ahaziah’s brothers (2 Chr. 21:17). Thus, the persons Jehu killed were most likely Ahaziah’s uncles, cousins, or nephews. They were caught in Northern Israel at the time of Jehu’s coup. In the book of Kings, the Bible reveals that these relatives stated that they were visiting Jezebel, their “queen mother” (2 Kgs. 10:13). Thus, they appear to have been relatives on Ahab’s side of the family. There were also mostly Baal worshipers. For either or both of these reasons, they may have shared in Ahab’s family judgment. But Jehu did not bother to let God make this decision. Thus, Jehu most likely exceeded the judgment that God authorized. He did not consult God regarding Ahaziah’s distant male relatives. Instead, he simply took matters into his own hands and killed them. He was likely guilty of the sins of presumption and murder.

  • Always pray and read the Word for God to guide your actions. To avoid the sin of presumption when responding to evil, you can first read God’s Word to guide your steps. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105) When you pray, the Holy Spirit will then help you to remember Jesus’ Word and apply it to your life: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (Jo. 14:26). “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; . . .” (Jo. 16:13). Are you reading the Word and praying on a daily basis for God to guide your steps?

6. Faith / Hope: Never Lose Faith and Hope When Evil Seems to Be Winning. 2 Chr. 22:10.

  • Queen Athaliah seizes power and tries to kill off the line of David. After Queen Athaliah learned that her son King Ahaziah had been put to death, she committed an unspeakable act of maternal filicide to seize power for herself: “10 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 Chr. 22:10; 2 Kgs. 11:1). Following Ahaziah’s death, Athaliah feared that she would lose her control and influence over Judah. She also rightly feared that the Levite priesthood would seek to eradicate the Baal worship that she introduced. But rather than repenting of her sins, she made the unimaginable decision to kill all of her own male descendants who might assume the throne. Ahaziah’s brothers were dead (2 Chr. 21:4). Jehu also killed off Ahaziah’s cousins, uncles, and nephews on Ahab’s side of the family (2 Kgs 10:12-14; 2 Chr. 21:17). Thus, Athaliah most likely ordered the death of her own grandchildren. Her wickedness rivaled her mother Jezebel, who sought to murder all of God’s prophets. Athaliah was the only female ruler of either kingdom, and she reigned for 6 years from 841 to 835 B.C. (2 Kgs. 11:3; 2 Chr. 22:10 – 23:21).

  • Athaliah acted under Satan’s influence to try to kill the line leading to the Messiah. Queen Athaliah acted under Satan’s influence as she tried to kill off the line of David that would lead to the Messiah. Throughout the Old Testament, Satan repeatedly tried to discredit or kill off the Davidic kings. Satan tried again to prevent Jesus from assuming the throne when he had Herod kill every male son near the time of Jesus’ birth (Matt. 2:16). Yet, on each occasion, Satan was unsuccessful in preventing God’s prophecy from coming true. God protected Joash while he was in hiding as a young boy. God also hid Jesus while He was in hiding as a young boy in Egypt (Matt. 2:19). Thus, all of Satan’s schemes ended in failure. Although feared by mankind, Satan is powerless against God.

  • Satan’s desires to rule over you. Queen Athaliah acted under Satan’s influence as she tried to kill off the line of David that would lead to the Messiah. Like Athaliah, Satan desires to rule over all mankind. “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. 14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Is. 14:13-14). For many, he has now become the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), “the prince of this world” (Jo. 12:31), or the “prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2). Any time you refuse to submit to God, you let him rule over your life. But if you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you need not fear him. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 Jo. 4:4). Even though he can cause you pain, the Holy Spirit inside you can protect you from any evil scheme that Satan may try to inflict upon you. But you must still protect yourself by being wary of Satan’s influences.

  • The Jews tolerated Athaliah’s evil for six years. Some might wonder why the Jews did nothing after Athaliah tried to murder all of David’s descendants in order to preserve both her influence and Baal worship in Judah. The Jews had just seen God fulfill a promise to judge Ahab’s family line for its Baal worship. They had to know that God would not tolerate this in Judah. The Jews apparently became complacent living under Satan’s control. They accepted his bondage because they didn’t know or care about the true freedom offered by the one true King of Kings. “For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.” (2 Cor. 11:20). “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1). Are you living in bondage or tolerating any unholy influences in your life?

  • Don’t lose your faith and hope in Jesus when it seems that Satan is winning. For any believer in Yahweh, it would have seemed that Satan had won during the reigns of the two Baal-worshipping kings of Judah and then Athaliah. Most would have assumed that David’s descendants were extinguished. But God promised never to forsake the Jews and remove the Davidic line of kings: “but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” (2 Sam. 7:15). “But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.” (Ps. 89:33). Sin would, however, limit the extent of their blessing. For example, He limited their kingdom to the land of Judah: ‘“However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”’ (1 Kgs. 11:13; 2 Kgs. 17:18). He also allowed the Jews to be plagued with political instability. Yet, He promised that He would never leave or forsake His people. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). When you see evil reigning unchecked, never lose your faith and hope in Jesus. “for we walk by faith, not by sight—” (2 Cor. 5:7). “A faithful man will abound with blessings, . . .” (Prov. 28:20(a)). “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5). “but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” (1 Tim. 3:9). Did you become filled with pessimisms when evil people and evil leaders seem to go unchecked?

7. Refuge: In Response to Evil, Seek Refuge in God Through His Church. 2 Chr. 22:11-12.

  • God saves Joash to preserve the line of David. To keep His promise to David, God prevented Athaliah from killing off the line of Davidic kings. “11 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. 12 He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.” (2 Chr. 22:11-12; 2 Kgs. 11:2-3). Jehoshabeath was King Joram’s daughter and King Ahaziah’s sister. She hid Athaliah’s grandson Joash for six years in the Temple and most likely faked his death to deceive Athaliah. Athaliah was apparently so caught up in her Baal worship that she never went to the Temple. There, God protected David’s line.

Jehosheba protected prince Joash from Queen Athaliah’s efforts to kill off David’s line3

  • Satan’s schemes are powerless against God’s Word. God hid a male heir from Athaliah to preserve His promise to David that a line of kings would run through him that would have no end: “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam. 7:13). Although Satan has the power to deceive mankind, he is powerless against God. God’s promise to David could not be undone through the wicked acts of Satan’s servants: “The LORD has sworn to David a truth from which He will not turn back: ‘Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne’” (Ps. 132:11). “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of His descendants on His throne,” (Acts 2:30). Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of this promise, who Satan could not stop: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:32-33). You can also trust in God’s promises to you as well.

  • Be like Jehosheba and Jehoiada to others in need. Jehosheba was married to Jehoiada, the High Priest (2 Chr. 22:11). Jehosheba and Jehoiada risked their own lives to do what was right instead of staying silent. Satan is always trying to destroy God’s plans. Although God will always prevail, He typically uses people like Jehosheba and Jehoiada as His instrument against evil. Will you help others who are under Satan’s attack?

  • Seek refuge in Jesus, and He will protect you. Jehosheba found refuge for Joash in God’s Temple. Like Joash, Samuel also grew up inside of God’s Temple. In both cases, the boys grew closer to God as they learned about the importance of their faith and God’s Word through the instruction of the priests. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” (Ps. 118:8). Do you seek refuge in Jesus from Satan’s attacks?

  • God wants you to depend upon Him to deliver you when you are under attack. Moses told God’s people never to forget that God was their true deliverer. Because God was their deliverer, they could depend upon Him when they cried out to Him: “Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the LORD brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.”’ (Ex. 13:3). “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.” (Ex. 13:9). God later affirmed this because the people were prone to forget. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Ex. 20:2). “Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt and ransomed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam.” (Micah 6:4). “Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them, but when they cried to You in the time of their distress, You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.” (Neh. 9:27; Acts 13:30). When you are under attack, turn to God.

  • Find protection within the Body of Christ. The High Priest and his captains acted together to protect Joash from death. God also offers you protection when you are connected to fellow believers: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25). Satan acts like a roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8). Believers are also called “sheep,” animals without natural defenses. (e.g., Jo. 21:16, 27). Lions usually attack animals that stray from the protections of the herd. Believers cannot claim to be accountable if they float in and out of church or only watch church online. Are you accountable to others in a small church group? Or, are you a lone ranger for Christ?