Jehoram’s son, Ahaziah, reigned in Jehoram’s stead (after having died). It is only natural that with a new king optimism comes, but if it did come it did not last long. Ahaziah reigned but for a year’s time, and he was known by the Lord, and to a lesser degree by his subjects, that he was an evil king (22:1-6). As the Lord brought judgment against Ahab, He also brought judgment against Ahaziah (22:7-9). With the kingdom of Judah in disarray, the queen mother took the mantle of leadership and usurped the throne, but all the while Judah’s next king was in hiding (22:10-12). While Athaliah thought she secured her throne, the Lord made sure her “security” was short-lived. The new king, Joash (son of Ahaziah), was reared by the High Priest (Jehoiada) and his wife (Ahaziah’s sister, Jehoshabeath), and when the time came he was put on the throne, and the usurping queen was dethroned (23:12-15).
Application: Professor J. Rufus Fears, in his first lecture on “The Wisdom of History” said there are ten laws (as he called them) that always seem to play a role when one tries to learn from history. His fourth law (or lesson to be learned) is that “power” is the universal value, not freedom (The Great Courses: The Wisdom of History; transcript, The Teaching Company, 2007, p. 17). Surely, that is what we see in these two chapters, isn’t it? It’s no longer a desire of one in position of authority to submit to God, but to exert authority and power of his (or her) subjects. Those who do so always seem to forget that one day they will be called to account for that which they did.