2 Chronicles 22:10-12 – That Sliver of Light and Hope

Posted: September 24, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 22:10-12

Queen Athaliah Rules in Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

There are times in our lives where everything you touch seems to go to crap, where you anger or hurt others and you didn’t even mean to do so, and everything in life just seems to be against you. How do you get through those times? I call it the sliver of hope, that little tiny light ahead in the darkness. There have been several deep dark valleys in my life where things just weren’t going right and it seems that I was pressed down and squeezed on all sides. I am going through a bit of a struggle in my church right now as we navigate the pandemic. I am struggling with the longer this pandemic lasts the more and more permanent damage that may be done to our church. Often in this time, I am struggling to figure out how to hold our church together and help it survive until things get back to normal. Add to that, there’s the usual stuff where people aren’t happy with you as a pastor for something you said or did or something didn’t say or didn’t do. Lately, with the combination of learning to navigate just the normal politics of local church and trying to figure out a once in a lifetime pandemic and its ravaging effects on our church, I have been pretty blue here in the last few weeks. Pile on top of that, my mother in law passed away on September 11th. Pile on top of that, the pandemic has damaged the ability for me to carry out my doctoral project for my dissertation and I am going to have to rethink how to do that. You can see that I have felt that everything was just falling down around me.

If it were not for the times in the past where I have had similar experiences, this situation may have caused me to throw up my hands and walk away. In the past, I have had those times. It was in those times that I could only put one foot in front of the other. It is only that sliver of hope that is the hope of Jesus Christ in our lives. It is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is what we cling to. It is the reason we get up in the morning and put our hands back on the plow and plow the field in front of us. We may not understand why we are even bothering to plow the field, but we keep plowing, because of the sliver of hope that our faith in Jesus Christ gives us. Sometimes, that’s all we have to get us through. When the dark tunnel seems to keep extending itself, we still have that sliver of light, that sliver of hope at the end of the tunnel.

It is that idea of trusting in the Lord’s promises even when things seem the darkest in our lives that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 22:10-12. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

10 When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of Judah’s royal family. 11 But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba,[i] the daughter of King Jehoram, 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. In this way, Jehosheba, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid the child so that Athaliah could not murder him. 12 Joash remained hidden in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Athaliah’s attempt to kill all of Ahaziah’s son so that she could rule Judah was not completely successful because of one thing. God’s promise that the Messiah would be born from the descendants of David (see 2 Samuel 7). God preserved the innocent child to ensure that the line of David would not be broken. That the child was hidden in the Temple was symbolic of God’s providential care over David’s line in a time of a serious, evil threat to the Davidic line. It was also very practical to hide the baby there since Athaliah who was a pagan idol worshiper. Since she was an idol worshiper, she would have not thought to enter the Temple to try to find the last remaining member of the Azahiah’s family line.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that often when we are in the midst of struggle in our lives and it just seems that we are pressed down by events and people on every side, we must remember that if we are seeking to do God’s will and are trusting His Word and His Holy Spirit guidance on our lives, He will take care of us even in the most troubled times. Sometimes, when things are really bad in our lives, that’s all we have. That sliver of hope that represents our trust in God helps us to keep plugging away. God gives us that hope that better times are ahead and we cling to that even when it seems that it will never come. If God can ensure that the Davidic line did not end with Ahaziah, He will see us through. He will deliver us to our promised land. He will set us on high ground. What we are learning in the dry valleys, God will use to make a more humble servants who are more useful to Him. When we cling to Him in troubled times, it is a reminder to us that these calmer waters that come are provided by Him. We are His children and He uses everything to make us stronger. He uses troubled times to develop our trust. We must remember and give thanks for our peaceful times that the Lord provides us.

Amen and Amen.

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