in the Christian Library
JEHOSHEBA – A Heroic Aunt!
2 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 22
1. Our lesson examines the impact of one woman upon the world’s history. Without this lady the Messianic line would have vanished; God’s promise that David’s “seed” would forever reign would have been vain. The entire history of the world would be different! Yet, this one woman is often totally ignored. Many are ignorant of her and what she did. Her story is one of the gems hidden away in the folds of Old Testament history. Her story is filled with breathtaking, heart-pounding moments of intrigue murder and mystery.
2. The general impact of godly women upon world history is usually acknowledged. “When you find a man playing a big part on life’s stage, you’ll find in sight, or just around the corner, a great woman. Read history! A man alone is only half a man; it takes the two to make the whole” (Elbert Hubbard, The Speaker’s Sourcebook, 285). ASK – Can you name some women who have played a significant role in history as the “force” behind a successful man?
3. The lesson examines Jehosheba (or also called Jehoshabeth in 2 Chronicles). A brief biographical sketch is necessary as we begin so that we will understand the key facts about her.
a. She was the daughter of Judah’s King Jehoram (also called Joram). This King was not good (2 Ki 8:18). This meant that her father’s wife, Athaliah, was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Hence she was constantly exposed and involved in the idolatry of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. She was the half-brother to the evil King Ahaziah (2 Chron 22:3). From a family devoted to evil and idolatry, Jehosheba stands out as a heroic daughter of an evil father!
b. She was married to the High Priest, Jehoiada. This is the only instance of an Israeli princess marrying a high priest.
c. She lived during the darkest days of the Southern Kingdom’s history. It was a time of barbarous cruelty, gross immorality, and profane Temple worship. The Southern kingdom was reaping the tragic harvest of Jehoshaphat’s compromised fellowship with Israel. The compromises of the father (Jehoshaphat) were multiplied by his son (Jehoram) and added to by his grandson (Ahaziah). It was not a good time to live.
d. She is the one credited with preserving the “Royal seed” from extinction. She rescued young Joash from the murderous plot of grandmother Athaliah. She worked with her husband and for six years hid the young child until he could ascend Judah’s throne.
e. Examine the Scriptures and observe the wonderful lessons that this unknown lady teaches to us.
4. Jehosheba’s Life is summarized with four points that are gleaned from her historical narrative in Kings and Chronicles.
a. She was a KINSWOMAN.
b. She was a GOOD WOMAN.
c. She was a BRAVE WOMAN.
d. She was a CLEVER WOMAN.
5. Jehosheba’s Work can be best summarized by one word – “Preservation.” She preserved the Kingly seed line through which the Messiah would come. She alone was responsible for saving David’s heritage. How did she accomplish this great work?
a. Through her marriage.
Jehosheba was a good wife for a good man. She was a woman of compassion and sympathy.
b. Through her general living.
1) By quiet benevolence that they perform without ever seeking the spotlight. They see a hurt and strive to relieve it; a need and seek to fill it.
2) By visiting those who need personal contact. Whether in homes, hospitals, or nursing homes, they devote themselves to the noble work of encouraging and edifying. Their visits are times of encouragement and their coming fills the hearts of those visited with great joy.
3) By instructing the young in Bible classes. How wonderful a legacy the Christian lady leaves who has spent her years teaching the tender hearts of children. Jehosheba began teaching Joash when he was one year old. Joash’s reign was first marked with godly consecration no doubt because of this early instruction. How many “great” leaders of society can look back and with respect speak of their Bible Class teachers!
4) By serving as a foreign missionary. Countless women have risked personal health, comfort, and safety because they sought to take the gospel into a foreign land.
6. Jehosheba’s Lessons are numerous. There are at least four that seem to be most significant and that Believers need to pay close attention to today.
a. We must be ever vigilant of opportunity to help others!
All around us are opportunities to help. There are souls being threatened by an evil even worse than Athaliah. The eternal destinies of these in peril depend upon our response. Will we be vigilant as Jehosheba? This exhortation was urged by Inspiration in Ephesians 5:15ff.
b. Great reforms often begin with ONE person.
This commitment to God’s will is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:58. Each Christian is responsible for making this commitment to God. How tragic that many will cheer on the “Jehoshebas” but will never join in the combat to secure God’s will as the ruling standard. God’s Kingdom is in need of individual members who are consecrated and committed (2 Ti 4:5-8).
c. Even those surrounded by evil people can serve God!
This is a difficult decision and many are unwilling to make it. Jehosheba reminds us today that if we are to follow God then we must choose to follow Him even if it means conflict with family (cf Mt 10:34-39).
d. Women occupy a critical place in society.
Jehosheba reminds Christian women today of the critical role they have in these areas: as a protector of children; as a source of blessing because of a pious relative; as a supportive spouse whose husband is an effective servant of God.
7. Concluding lessons that stick in our minds about Jehosheba. We have studied the heroism of a lady whose actions prevented the extinction of the Davidic Seed line. Reading her story fills us with admiration and respect. As we look at Jehosheba’s story, we should take three major lessons to heart:
a. Remember to be an example of faith and courage to others.
b. Remember that God’s faithfulness is always constant.
c. Remember how God has historically defeated the schemes of
Copyright 1999 by John
L. Kachelman, Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no
cost to others.