UNSUNG HEROES

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  Jehoiada, The Priest  
 
 



2 Chronicles 22:10-12
10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah.
11 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah's sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him.
12 He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.


2 Chronicles 23:1-21
1 In the seventh year Jehoiada showed his strength. He made a covenant with the commanders of units of a hundred: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri.
2 They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites and the heads of Israelite families from all the towns. When they came to Jerusalem,
3 the whole assembly made a covenant with the king at the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, "The king's son shall reign, as the LORD promised concerning the descendants of David.
4 Now this is what you are to do: A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath are to keep watch at the doors,
5 a third of you at the royal palace and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the other men are to be in the courtyards of the temple of the LORD.
6 No one is to enter the temple of the LORD except the priests and Levites on duty; they may enter because they are consecrated, but all the other men are to guard what the LORD has assigned to them.
7 The Levites are to station themselves around the king, each man with his weapons in his hand. Anyone who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes."
8 The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men--those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty--for Jehoiada the priest had not released any of the divisions.
9 Then he gave the commanders of units of a hundred the spears and the large and small shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of God.
10 He stationed all the men, each with his weapon in his hand, around the king--near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.
11 Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king's son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, "Long live the king!"
12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the king, she went to them at the temple of the LORD.
13 She looked, and there was the king, standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and singers with musical instruments were leading the praises. Then Athaliah tore her robes and shouted, "Treason! Treason!"
14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops, and said to them: "Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her." For the priest had said, "Do not put her to death at the temple of the LORD."
15 So they seized her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and there they put her to death.
16 Jehoiada then made a covenant that he and the people and the king would be the Lord's people.
17 All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
18 Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the temple of the LORD in the hands of the priests, who were Levites, to whom David had made assignments in the temple, to present the burnt offerings of the LORD as written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as David had ordered.
19 He also stationed doorkeepers at the gates of the Lord's temple so that no one who was in any way unclean might enter.
20 He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land and brought the king down from the temple of the LORD. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate and seated the king on the royal throne,
21 and all the people of the land rejoiced. And the city was quiet, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.


The scene: Jehoiada is married to the former King Ahaziah's sister (22:11). That is, he is the former king's brother-in-law and the son-in-law of the king before Ahaziah-Jehoram. Jehoiada finds himself faced with a critical choice. He knows that sheltering Joash is nothing short of treason. Nonetheless, as God's priest, he submits to the divine law and will.

Jehoiada finds a way to raise Joash in the Temple and to keep him out of sight. It is not just raising a child at Jehoida's age that is important here; it is the risk involved. Athaliah is in complete control of the kingdom. Should she find out, not only will Joash be killed, but so will Jehoiada.

1. TAKE RISK ( 2Chr 22:10-12)
- Jehoiada took the risk of doing what is right even at the cost of his life.
- We take risks when we know there is personal gain.
- However, do we take risks just to do what is right?
- When was the last time I took a risk to obey God's word?
- When was the last time you risked your relationship to confront someone about their sin?
- Do we compromise God's standard when we know that it can cost us something - our job, relationships, future insecurities or our children's future?
- We took a risk when we decided to become a disciple of Jesus. What stops us now ?
- The reason we do not take risks now is because of fear of failing.
- I love these words of a solider from Gorkha Rifles, Indian Army," SOME GOALS ARE SO WORTHY, IT'S GLORIOUS EVEN TO FAIL".

CHALLENGE: Take a risk. Do something that will challenge you. Lead a Bible Talk, start a Family Group in a new area, invite people who intimidate you, go on a mission team, take a one-year challenge to serve God. Do something. Take risks. Don't just sit there waiting for things to happen.

2. BUILD A TEAM ( 2Chr 23:1-15)
- Johoiada needed a team for his plan to succeed, to make Joash the king.
- Six long years, Jehoiada lies low.
- Six long years, the boy is hidden in the temple, known only to a select few.
- For years now, he has been at work behind the scenes, fortifying the relationships that will aid in overthrowing the evil queen.
- The initial mission of Jehoida's secret band is to gather the priests and town leaders to assemble in Jerusalem at a set time.
- It is notable that Jehoiada begins his enlistment with those he knows best - the Levites (v. 2).
- When they arrive in Jerusalem, Jehoiada finally unveils his grand scheme.
- He does not present Joash and then allow the people to vote.
- He enters into a covenant with them and then presents the answer to their common problem. That answer is a seven-year-old named Joash.
- God's kingdom cannot grow without teamwork.
- We are called to be a team player. (1 Cor 12)
- Am I a team player?
- Or am I just a passerby, watching?
- Am I willing to get my hands dirty to help or am I just critical and negative?

3. A CALL BACK TO GOD ( 2Chr 23:16-21)
- Jehoiada made a covenant that he, the people and the king will be the Lord's people.
- Like Jehoiada, we must first call our self back to God, call our family to be God's people and call the world to be God's people.
- When we got baptised, we made a covenant with God that Jesus would be our Lord. Is he still the LORD of your life, your time, your talents, your money?
- Is he still the same Lord that you are excited to share with others?
- When was the last time I helped someone to become a disciple of Jesus Christ?

CHALLENGE: Make a decision to share Jesus with someone every day.