JEHOSHABEATH also known as JEHOSHEBA
I crave your indulgence today as firstly the name above will take me well over my 25 people which means that my overall title would have been more accurate if I had chosen A History of Advent in 25 Days and secondly because I am taking a step back in the chronology of Advent in the Old Testament. I should have included Jehoshabeath in my original list as her actions were crucial to the Advent story as Dale Ralph Davies describes her as the ‘Lady who saved Christmas’. In truth I had forgotten her till she came up in my daily Bible Reading yesterday.
So today a brief biography of a relatively obscure lady who is known only from one verse in scripture, 2 Chronicles 22.11
But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death.
When Ahaziah died (see 2 Chronicles 22.7ff) his mother Athaliah came to the throne. She was a daughter of Ahab, one of the most evil kings of Israel and she had married into the royal line of Judah, but that is another story.
In her rage at the death of her son, she ‘arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah 2 Chronicles 22.10, BUT (one of the great buts of the Bible), Jehoshabeath took Joash, son of Azariah who was therefore, in spite of Azariah’s sins, one of the Royal Line of Judah, and hid him away in safety out of the way of Athaliah’s wrath.
After six years in hiding, Jehoiada a faithful and God-fearing priest brought him out and he was proclaimed king.
The Royal Line from which the Saviour would come was thus unbroken, although humanly speaking it was hanging by a thread, and for the vital action which meant that the thread did not break, God used an otherwise unknown girl. It is a theme we have seen before and will see again as Advent nears its climax.
As you thank God today for his sovereign working in and through Jehoshabeath ask him to use you for his glory as you play your part in the history of the Second Advent – the promised return of Jesus.