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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Power-Hungry Women (2 Kings 11:20)

 "And all the people of the land rejoiced. And the city was quiet, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword of the palace."

Who knew that when Judah's king, Jehoshaphat, allows his son, Jehoram, to marry Jezebel's daughter, Athaliah, that she would one day become Judah's only queen? After her son, King Ahaziah, dies Athaliah kills all of the royal family and establishes herself as queen. She serves as Judah's queen for six years.

What does this story teach us about power-hungry women?
  • They are unafraid to take matters into their own hands
  • They use their marriage relationship to further their own ambitions
  • They turn against their own children
  • They accuse others of sin while justifying their own (called out "treason" to those seeking to remove her while she had murdered those of her own household)
  • They are not respected by those under their rule/authority
  • People serve them out of fear rather than love or loyalty
  • No one misses them when they are gone (Athaliah's death causes great rejoicing)
Women can either use their influence for good or for evil. Throughout the Old Testament God highlights women who fear Him and are placed in positions of authority or influence (Miriam, Hannah, Deborah, Ruth, Esther, etc.). Power-hungry women such as Jezebel and her daughter, Athaliah, use their influence for evil. That women have influence is a given. How women use that influence, however, is critical. Women face choices daily concerning the use of that influence. Will they choose wisely by walking in humility and surrender to the Lord or will they abuse that influence by choosing to walk in pride and insubordination?

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Kings 11:4-21; 2 Chronicles 23:1-21
  • What does Jehoiada present to the king's son at his coronation? Review Deuteronomy 17:14ff).
  • What does this reveal about Jehoiada?
  • How do the people demonstrate their commitment to the covenant Jehoiada makes between the LORD and His people?
2 Kings 12:1-16; 2 Chronicles 24:1-16
  • How long does Joash reign? Describe his reign.
2 Kings 10:28-36; 2 Kings 13:1-3, 22-23
  • How does the LORD reduce the size of Israel and why?
  • How are all the succeeding kings described or who are they all compared to?
  • Why does the LORD show mercy to Israel in spite of their commitment to act wickedly?
  • What does this reveal about God?
Turning truth into prayer
Pray for the women who serve as our governing officials (Barbara Boxer, senator from California and for Nancy Pelosi, congresswoman from California). Pray that the women who serve in our government will use their influence wisely and well.