Syria wages war on Israel, and Ahab is killed (1 Kgs 22).
Shortly thereafter, a man named Jehu revolts against the house of Ahab and kills all seventy of his sons, as well as Jezebel.
It is interesting that the narrative records Ahab having seventy sons, as the Canaanite goddess Asherah and the head of the Canaanite pantheon were, according to their myths, the parents of seventy sons.
Perhaps Ahab tried to imitate this pagan god?
Regardless, the destruction of the house of Ahab again illustrates how no dynasty can last in the rebellious land of the ten tribes.
Israel’s rebellion against the house of David was undone by internal rebellions and coups among the ten tribes.
Treachery breeds more of the same.
However, it was Israel’s infidelity in “walking in the ways of Jeroboam” and thus forsaking the Lord, more than their political instability, that led to their ruin.
In 722 BC the fast growing empire of Assyria (not to be confused with the neighboring kingdom of Syria) took the capital Samaria and conquered Israel.
So as to avoid any insurgencies and rebellion in Israel, Assyria removed many of the surviving Israelites, scattering them among the vast Assyrian empire; and at the same time, they brought five other pagan tribes and relocated them in the land of Samaria (Israel).
These pagan tribes will intermarry with the few remaining Israelites, and the people resulting from this intermarriage will become known as the Samaritans (2 Kgs 17)
Ok so here we are with kind of a remake today
1 Kings 22 is a throwback to what we have already read in 2 Chronicles before
Israel and Judah combine forces to fight the Syrians
Jehoshaphat is the King of Judah (Southern Kingdom)
Ahab is the King of Israel (Northern Kingdom)
So what do they do?
Jehoshaphat is a pretty legit guy and wants to INQUIRE OF THE LORD FIRST about their strategy
Ahab gets some prophets who agree with him who say to move forward with the battle
Jehoshaphat wants to know if these are REALLY ALL THE PROPHETS OF GOD
Ahab says there is one prophet, Macaiah, who always prophesied bad against Ahab
Macaiah says there will be victory
But Ahab know he isn’t telling the WHOLE TRUTH
Macaiah says, “Yeah, you’re gonna die”
And that is what happens
We have the death and defeat of Ahab
Just like the prophecy had said in 1 Kings 21:19
Dogs will lick up his blood
Harlots will bathe in his blood
Ahab bled out in the chariot
1 Kings 22:38 “And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the harlots washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord which he had spoken.”
We also have Jehoshaphat reigning over judah
Jehoshaphat dies and his son, Ahaziah takes over
Remember, Jehoshaphat was a good king, just like his father, Asa
Ahaziah, his son, is going to be a BAD KING
2 Chronicles Ch 23 we have Athaliah
She is the DAUGHTER of AHAB
She is the WIFE of JEHORAM
She is the MOM of AHAZIAH
So after Ahaziah died, what did Athaliah do?
She killed the rest of the royal family of JUDAH, wanting to eliminate any claim that Judah had to the throne
She made herself the queen and reigned for 6 years
She did not know that one of the sisters of Ahaziah, Jehoshabeath (we don’t know if Athalia was her mom), hid away her son, Joash
Joash was the GRANDSON of Athaliah
So Joash has been hidden for 6 years
All of the rulers of Israel know that Athaliah is not a good person
They also know that Joash is in the LINE OF KING DAVID, IN THE LINE OF ABRAHAM
THIS IS MASSIVELY MASSIVELY IMPORTANT
It is from the line of JUDAH that the ULTIMATE KING is going to come
DAVID AND HIS SUCCESSORS FOREVER
So the priests and leaders gather around and Joash is crowned King of Judah at a young age
Athaliah is slain
Jehoiada, the priest, makes a COVENANT between himself and all the people and the king that THEY SHOULD BE THE LORD’S PEOPLE
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT
There is a bit of restoration
Joash was SEVEN YEARS OLD when he was crowned king
But he has some good people around him, at least at first (Unlike King Joffrey Baratheon, that petulant monarch 🤓)
There is a great start to Joash’s reign
This is a RESTORATION because under Athaliah, the DAUGHTER OF AHAB, there was NO FAITHFULNESS TO THE LORD
So life up in the NORTHERN KINGDOM was CONSTANT UNFAITHFULNESS
So prophets are sent MANY MANY TIMES up to the NORTHERN KINGDOM
“If you don’t repent, the Lord is going to allow you to disappear from the face of the Earth.”
In the SOUTHERN KINGDOM, we have GOOD KINGS and we have BAD KINGS
Ahaziah was a BAD KING
Athaliah was a BAD QUEEN
Finally, we have a GOOD KING in Joash
We are going to follow this up and down journey
ALL THE WHILE WE ARE FOLLOWING GOD’S PROMISE
What is God’s Promise?
HE IS GOING TO BE FAITHFUL EVEN WHEN HIS PEOPLE ARE NOT FAITHFUL
That is true FOR EVERY ONE OF US
GOD IS FAITHFUL TO US EVEN WHEN WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL TO HIM
WHEN WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL SONS AND DAUGHTERS, HE IS A FAITHFUL DAD