Jezebel had a daughter called Athaliah, who was just as wicked as her mother. Athaliah was married to the king of Judah. When her husband died, her son began to rule. But when her son died, Athaliah made herself the ruler of Judah. Then she tried to destroy the entire royal line, murdering anyone who could become ruler instead of her, even her own grandsons. Everyone was afraid of her.
High Priest Jehoiada and his wife, Jehosheba, knew that what Athaliah was doing was very bad. They risked their lives to hide one of Athaliah’s grandsons, a baby named Jehoash. They raised him at the temple.
When Jehoash was seven years old, Jehoiada gathered all the chieftains and Levites and told them: ‘Guard the doors of the temple, and don’t let anyone in.’ Then Jehoiada made Jehoash the king of Judah and put a crown on his head. The people of Judah shouted: ‘Long live the king!’
Queen Athaliah heard the roar of the crowd and rushed to the temple. When she saw the new king, she cried out: “Conspiracy! Conspiracy!” The chieftains grabbed the wicked queen, took her away, and put her to death. But what about the bad influence she’d had on the nation?
Jehoiada helped the nation to make a covenant with Jehovah in which they promised to worship only Him. Jehoiada had them tear down the temple of Baal and smash the idols to pieces. He appointed the priests and Levites to work at the temple so that the people could worship there again. He assigned gatekeepers to guard the temple so that no one unclean could enter. Then Jehoiada and the chieftains took Jehoash to the palace and put him on the throne. The people of Judah rejoiced. They could serve Jehovah, finally free from wicked Athaliah and from Baal worship. Do you see how Jehoiada’s courage helped many people?
“Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”—Matthew 10:28