Ahaziah, Athaliah, and the Promises of God

Kevin DeYoung

READ : 2 Chronicles 22-23

“The king’s son shall reign, as the Lord promised concerning the descendants of David. (23:3 NIV)

The Christian life starts with the promises of God. He makes claims about himself and gives us promises. Then, having trusted in those promises, we respond in faith and obedience to God’s commands. But it all starts with the promises.

Sometimes, however, God’s promises are hard to believe, like during Athaliah’s reign. The dark days started with Ahaziah. In his pathetic one-year reign he managed to entangle himself with the house of Ahab and get himself killed while visiting Joram of Israel. His wicked mother, Athaliah, assumed the throne and promptly murdered all the royal princes in order to secure her own power. For seven years it looked as though God’s promise to David had failed. No one from his line would ever again sit on the throne. No covenant, no Christmas, no Christ!

But God’s promise had not failed. The faithful Jehosheba and Jehoiada had secretly hid away one royal prince, Joash, and presented him as king in his seventh year. Just like Moses and Jesus, Joash was hidden away from a cruel tyrant and then revealed as the deliver of God’s people. Athaliah was killed and Joash began to reign. God had kept his promise. He always does.


God, all of your promises are yes and amen in Christ. Thank you.