When Baasha became king of Israel, he secured his throne by putting an end to the dynasty of Jeroboam. “He left to the house of Jeroboam not one that breathed, until he had destroyed it” (1Kings 15:29). Zimri, in turn, did the same to Baasha. “When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he struck down all the house of Baasha. He did not leave him a single male of his relatives or his friends” (1Kings 16:11).
In 2Kings 9-10, Jehu took the throne, but there remained seventy sons in Ahab in Samaria (2Kings 10:1). Jehu followed the precedent of kings when he asked for their heads. Literally. “They took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel” (2Kings 10:7). Jehu did this, because that’s what kings do. They secure the throne. But there is more to the story.
God’s prophet Elijah had prophesied against evil King Ahab, “Because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin (1Kings 21:20-22). Jehu ended the dynasty of Ahab, but he did not do it solely because that’s what kings do. He did it because God decreed it and God is in charge. History is written by God.
Jehu also emptied the throne of Judah by killing Ahaziah (2Kings 9:27), so Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, took over. To establish her reign, she sought a bigger prize, to put an end to the dynasty of David. She ordered the execution of all the royal family, “but Jehosheba, the sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away” (2Kings 11:2). Joash (also called Jehoash) was hidden away for six years in a bedroom in the house of the Lord. Athaliah would not find him there because she did not go there–she worshipped in the house of Baal. Athaliah tried to destroy David’s dynasty, and Jehosheba sought to save it, but there is more to the story.
God’s prophet Nathan had prophesied to righteous King David, “Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2Samuel 7:16). History is written by God. Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign (2Kings 11:21) and the throne of David continued, and God remains sovereign over all.
My God, You are King of kings and Lord of lords. My kings sit on earthly thrones, while You sit on the throne of heaven. I pledge my allegiance to You and Your kingdom forever. Your will be done as it has always been.
I serve at Your pleasure and for Your pleasure, God. May the desires of my heart be shaped by You, so that I will seek after what is righteous and good, pure and holy. May I delight in following You and may You be praised by my works and my words. May all that I do declare that You are my King. I will love others because You taught me love, and first loved me.