2 Kings 11:1-3 – The Target Remains. I Repeat, The Target Remains!

Posted: July 11, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 11:1-3

Queen Athaliah Rules in Judah

A couple of days ago, I read an article online at Yahoo News about the miracle of a Bible that survived a car fire. Although the car was completely gutted by a fire that started in the engine of the car, a Bible that was in the car survived the fire completely unscathed. Some called it a freak occurrence. I called it a miracle of God to preserve His Word in an evil, fallen, imperfect world. It is not the first time that I have heard of Bibles surviving fires. God will protect His Word.

Over the centuries, God has ensured that His Word has survived in tact. God’s Word survived despite intense efforts to destroy it. According to the website, Answers in Genesis, for instance, in 175 BC the king of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes, ordered the Jews, on pain of death, to destroy their Scriptures and worship the Greek gods. But Judas Maccabaeus saved the books and led a revolt that won independence for the Jewish nation (Today, Jews celebrate this event at Hanukkah). Another example is the Roman emperor Diocletian’s order to have Christianity outlawed, its leaders killed, and their Bibles burned. As a sign of God’s providence, the next emperor, Constantine, legalized Christianity and made it the official religion of the Roman Empire and paid for fifty new hand-written copies of the Bible. The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 confirmed that we still have the same Old Testament as they did at Jesus’s day. The survival of thousands of New Testament manuscripts confirms that the New Testament writings were also providentially preserved. The Bible is amazingly well-preserved. We now through archaeological evidence have found manuscripts of New Testament books that date within one hundred years of their original penning. As archaeologists have continued to dig and have continue to improve their science and their methods over the years, the Bible that we have today has been proven to be amazingly accurate in comparison to these earliest manuscripts that we continue to find, and we continue to unearth evidence closer and closer to the time these books were actually penned.

God has preserved His Word. It is not some random event in a car fire. It happens repeatedly. He ensures that His Word as it was written by the original authors through His inspiration remains. I remember from the movie, Armageddon, where they decide to try to nuke the alien spacecraft as it hovered over Houston, TX. When the nuclear missiles explode on contact with the huge alien spacecraft, everyone at the control center starts celebrating, but the President demands confirmation as to whether the target was destroyed. Amidst the celebration, he continues to demand confirmation. Finally, one of the communications guys radios one of forward units to give them visual confirmation that the target had been destroyed. Amidst the destruction and the clearing of the smoke of the rubble caused by the nuclear explosion, you hear the fateful words, “The target remains. I repeat, the target remains!” That’s the way God is with His Word. He will preserve it in its original form through the centuries. He will protect it as it was written. It will survive. It will remain as written.

Thus, we can have great confidence that God’s Word that we read today is exactly as God intended it to be read. It is, like I said, the most well-preserved of all ancient literature. It can be trusted that what we believe from reading the Bible, the theology that comes forth from the bible, is exactly what God intended for us to believe. It is His eternal truth. We can trust everything in it that God says. We can trust His promises made there. Within His word, He promised that the Messiah would come from the line of David and He did. In the Bible, we see all kinds of attempts to end the line of David during the post-Solomon period of the split kingdoms of the Israelites. God always ensured that the Davidic line survived. Today’s passage is another example. Thus, we can trust God’s Word that it survived in tact and we can trust the promises that are made in this amazingly well-preserved collection of books known as the Bible.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read this short passage of 2 Kings 11:1-3. God preserves. God ensures that His promises are not thwarted by evil and we can trust that because His Word is preserved and has survived in tact even though there have been so many attempts to destroy God’s Word. We are reminded that God’s promises as written can be trusted. And, we can trust that God will ensure that any attempts to change the eternal truths of His Word will be thwarted.

Chapter 11

1 When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of the royal family. 2 But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram,[a] took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom, and they hid him from Athaliah, so the child was not murdered. 3 Joash remained hidden in the Temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.

In this passage, we must remember that it is a continuation from 2 Kings 9:27, where Ahaziah, Athaliah’s son, had been killed by Jehu. Athaliah’s attempt to kill all of Ahaziah’s sons was futile because God had promised that the Messiah would be born through David’s descendants (2 Samuel 7). Athaliah’s murderous campaign almost brought the Davidic dynasty to an end. In this passage, we see that Joash was providentially saved from Athaliah’s persecution so that the Davidic dynasty would survive. By storing Joash in the temple, he would have grown up being instructed in God’s law which would explain some of the reforms that Joash would make during his reign as we will read later on.

The thing that I take away from this morning’s read of Scripture is that even in this world where the world is trying to say that the Bible is irrelevant, that what has been accepted as universally true for two millenia as the truths of the Bible are now all of a sudden not true, it’s truths will survive. God will ensure that it does. In a world where people are trying to reinterpret the Bible to suit their own desires and change the theology of His Word into something different for this modern age, He will ensure the survival of His theology, His themes, His commands, His doctrine as He intended it to be. We have confidence in the accuracy of His text through archaeological evidence amassed over the centuries. Thus, we can have confidence His theology is what He inspired the writers to put down and what He inspired Christians to deduce from His Word over the centuries. No attempt by 21st century man to redesign the theology of the Bible will stand. God will ensure that it survives.

Just as He preserves a Bible in a car fire providentially. He will preserve His Word and His theology. Just as similarly, He will preserve the promises, that we can trust, that He made in the Bible. We can trust what He says because He has never failed to keep a promise that He made in the Bible. He has never failed to preserve His Word as originally written. Thus, we can be assured that we can trust Him with our lives. Thus, we can trust Him with our souls. Through His preserved Word, we can trust Him with our eternity and live our lives according to His amazing Word, fully preserved through the centuries.

Amen and Amen.

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