Was the moon landing a hoax? Was President Kennedy’s assassination a two-man, inside job? Did Russia really influence the most recent presidential election? Is there political collusion in the FBI? Many of us are fascinated with recent and not so recent conspiracies. Second Kings 11 unveils a conspiracy which nearly devastated a nation and nullified the Davidic Covenant.
Remember for a moment, God made an extraordinary promise to King David in 2 Samuel 7. “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever” (2 Samuel 7:16). It is very clearly stated, God would not turn his back on David like He did with Saul. This promise was monumental, but it also can only be kept by an omni-powerful God.
In 2 Kings 9-10, we read of the Jehu’s ordained massacre of Ahab’s posterity. As part of the devil’s sinister plot, Ahab had a daughter who married one of the grandsons of David, Jehoram. He was a wicked king in Judah and “he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 8:18). Part of Jehu’s purging initiative eliminated Joram king of Israel (9:23-24) who was Athaliah’s brother. Her husband King Jehoram of Judah, died of an intestinal illness (2 Chronicles 21:18-29) so her only surviving son, Ahaziah was king but Jehu killed him as well (2 Kings 9:27-28). This was Athaliah’s opportunity to claim the throne for herself. She had all the grandsons killed which would extinguish David’s lineage.
Jehosheba, who was either Athaliah’s daughter or step-daughter, discretely snatches her nephew, Joash, and hides him in a storage room in the Temple for six years. Can you imagine the eggshells everyone walked on for those years as they tried to live above suspicion? In the seventh year, Jehoida, Jehosheba’s husband, hires mercenaries who will lead their militias in a strategic coup. Joash is anointed as the king. Athaliah cries, “Treason!” and then she is silenced.
You cannot find a more nail-biting plot than what we have recorded for us in Scripture. It is evident, God is the master of all circumstances. Yes, a heroic woman stood in the gap and preserved the lineage of David. God uses normal people like you and me to participate in His divinely providential plan.
This is a conspiracy which rivals almost any other in history, but, even in this story, extraordinary people rise to the challenge. God is a promise-keeping God and he delights to use devoted individuals who will serve him.