2 Chronicles 23:12-15 – The Truth Is Too Detailed to Be Covered by Lies

Posted: September 28, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 23:12-15

Queen Athaliah Rules in Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

At the end of October of this year, it will have 26 years since the drowning murders of Alex and Michael Smith by their mother, Susan Smith. Our family has a roundabout connection to this situation through Alex and Michael’s paternal grandfather, David Smith, Sr. After the children’s supposed disappearance and murder discovery, the Smith family was at the center of varying levels of public scrutiny and media attention over the years since that fateful October 1994 night. As a result, David Sr. ended moving away from Union because the pain and the attention of being there was just too overwhelming. He moved to the Florida panhandle to start a new life. It is there where he met and eventually my cousin, Courtney. So, this case took on even more significance to me when Courtney married David.

Last night there was one of those episodes of the show, How It Really Happened, starring Hill Harper. He revisited the Susan Smith murders. In that episode, it was like reliving those days back in 1994 when the Upstate of South Carolina (where I lived then in Greenville) and the whole nation became riveted to the search for the supposedly missing Michael and Alex. All of us were shocked when it was revealed 9 days after the story broke that Susan Smith had actually been responsible for the deaths of her own children. Her whole charade for those 9 days was a lie. Her story began to unravel with the police almost from the beginning. And it all started with a traffic light.

Her story was believable to the police up to the point that she claimed that she was a stop light on SC 49 in Union when no other vehicles were around to witness it when this carjacking and abduction occurred. It was that one little tiny fact that started the suspicions of police that she was not telling the truth about the events of that night. You see at the intersection Susan was talking about was one of those intersections of a major road with a minor road. It had enough traffic and previous accidents to warrant a traffic light being there. However, SC 49 is a significant road through the area so the highway department made sure that the traffic light system installed there recognized that. It was one of those traffic light systems where the light on the main road would stay green until some traffic approached it from the minor road. Only then would the SC 49 light go from green to red. That’s the flaw in Susan’s story that started it all. She claimed to be at that intersection approaching it on SC 49. The only way that light would have red would be if another car had approached the intersection from the minor road side of the intersection. That would have meant that there would have been two cars at the intersection when Susan stopped. There would have been witnesses to the supposed carjacking. It was that one not well thought out part of her story that began her own downfall.

It just goes to show you that even the best liars miss one detail, forget one thing, don’t clean up one tiny drop of blood, don’t think of every minute possibility. The human mind just cannot fathom the enormity of telling a lie and covering up the actual truth. It is that idea of truth being so much easier than lies that I thought of this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 23:12-15. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and the shouts of praise to the king, she hurried to the Lord’s Temple to see what was happening. 13 When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar at the Temple entrance. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Singers with musical instruments were leading the people in a great celebration. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”

14 Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders who were in charge of the troops, “Take her to the soldiers in front of the Temple,[b] and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be killed in the Temple of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her and led her out to the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds, and they killed her there.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that Athaliah thought she had it made. After assuming the throne, she killed all potential heirs to it – or so she thought! But even the best plans of the evil person go sour. It took six years in this case, Athaliah did much damage to the spiritual health of Judah during her reign by taking the throne and having done so by force. However, when the truth was revealed, she was overthrown immediately. No matter how well we think we have suppressed the truth or how well we created a false narrative, a lie, to cover up our real actions, the truth always comes out. Always. There is always one ray of light of truth that we always forget that leads truth seekers to start chipping away at our lie to find the real truth. The truth, however, requires no extensive planning. The truth requires no alibi. The truth requires no deception. And most of all, the truth is less taxing on us because we are wired by God (whether we acknowledge His existence or not) to know the difference between the truth and a lie. We are wired to know that the truth is superior to a lie.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that when we lie, we are simply incapable of covering up the truth in all its enormous amount of detail. We may think we have accomplished our goal and we may get away with a lie for a long time. There are some 1,000’s of murders out there right now from many many years ago that remain unsolved. And those who perpetuate the lies may well have gotten away with what they covered up during their lifetimes. However, most people don’t. Most of us are just not capable of thinking a lie all the way through. The truth has so many details that have to be covered up or counteracted that it is impossible to fully suppress the truth. God wires us to tell the truth and we know from a very young age that guilt comes along with lying. We are just wired to tell the truth. Yet, we are sinful people and thus do sinful things that require us to cover up the truth of our lives. None of us can claim to be lie-free. None of us can claim to have been perfectly truthful all the time.

So this story is a reminder to us that the truth will eventually catch up to us. We will have to account for our lies on our judgment day before the Lord. It is only through humble submission to the Lord that we are set free from our sins and our lies that will condemn us before God without the forgiveness and covering of Jesus Christ.

Amen and Amen.

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