Jehoram is dead after eight years of abysmal leadership. His only surviving son Ahaziah takes the throne. He was just as bad and God removed him after a year.
Jehoshaphat made a mess when he linked himself and his family to the house of Ahab. Ahab was an especially wicked king in the eyes of the Lord and the people. Jehoram was married to Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah, and she closely followed the ways of her father. With the death of Jehoram Ahaziah relied on his mother and her family for guidance. In essence, the family of Ahab was running both kingdoms.
Names get tricky in this chapter and the last. Ahaziah is also known as Jehoahaz. We see him called that in the last chapter in the end of verse 17. Jehoram, the son of Ahab, and current king of Israel is also known as Joram. He is referenced by this name in the end of verse six in our current reading. I am VERY grateful that the Holy Spirit saw fit to include clarification when these confusing overlapping names were included. It doesn’t help that Israel had an Ahaziah while Jehoshaphat was on the throne too.
Ahaziah looks to Israel for his guidance in all matters. At least he didn’t kill off his cousins when he took the throne. He didn’t have to kill any brothers because the Philistines had already done that. Jehu and Ahaziah’s mother will deal with almost all of the rest of the royal family when Jehu kills Ahaziah.
We see very little that Ahaziah accomplished during his single year on the throne here or in the book of the Kings. His most notable ‘accomplishment’ is that he joined with Joram in battle against Syria and visited Joram after he was injured. This is where he met his end.
God wanted the house of Ahab torn down and Ahaziah was part of that house. God set Jehu in motion to deal His judgment on the house of Ahaz. The only one of Ahab’s house that would retain power, for a time, is Athaliah. We will see her story tomorrow. She was no better than her father Ahab and when the time is right she will go down too.
Can you imagine seeing ALL your brothers captured and killed? Knowing that your father did the same to all his brothers and many of their children. This house of Ahab brought in a legacy of bloodshed. I can’t imagine being this young man and not knowing who to trust. He clearly trusted the wrong people; his mother included. But there were others he could turn to IF he chose to.
The priests and Levites were still in Jerusalem. His sister was even married to the high priest. But he chose to listen to the voice of his mother above all others. And he walked in the ways of his father. I wonder what could have been if he had only listened to different counsel.
We ALL need to be alert to the counsel we keep. Are those you are listening to drawing you closer to the Lord or away from Him? Be willing to cut the ties, NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE, that draw you away. Jesus broke His ties with his brothers and sisters for a time because they wanted to stand between Him and His purpose on earth. He DID NOT stop loving them or even praying for them. He simply separated from them and refused to allow them to influence His direction. They saw the truth after His resurrection and became followers too. He was able to influence them by remaining committed to the Lord, in spite of their objections. May that be our witness too!
Father God, don’t let me fall prey to counsel that tries to lead me away from You. Help me turn a deaf ear when any near me espouse fear. Help me ALWAYS trust You and follow wherever You lead. THANK YOU that my family pushes me towards You instead of away. Pull my children to Your breast too. Bring them kicking and screaming if necessary. My grandchildren too please Father! Send them all GOOD counsel.