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Recruiting Help to Raise Godly Children

By Grace Shiflett

This is the story of a woman's courage, along with a whole community of unified people and the power via working together to make sure Joash found God’s plan and will for his life. It starts back in chapter eleven.

 

2 Kings 11:1-3 

1 And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.

2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons [which were] slain; and they hid him, [even] him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.

3 And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.

 

Let’s give some background so we can understand Joash's family tree:

• Great-Grandparents - Ahab & Jezebel (deceased)

• Grandparents - Jehoram (deceased) & Athaliah 

• Parents - Ahaziah (deceased) & Zibiah (single mom)

• Uncle & Aunt - Jehoiada (High Priest) & Jehosheba

 

All those who are deceased were wicked in the sight of the Lord.  In fact, the Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 22:3, He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. This verse is speaking of Athaliah counseling her son Ahaziah. Imagine what kind of mother she must have been.

 

It seems like all odds are against Joash when looking at the history of his family. Satan had a plan, but God raised up a group around Joash to preserve his life. Jehosheba (his aunt) saw the importance of intervening in his life. Wicked Athaliah (his grandmother) thought she had killed all the royal seed, but somehow Jehosheba found out there was a baby that was alive.  I wonder how she knew he was there? Alive among the slain? What must it have been like to steal a baby from among the king's sons that were slain?  

 

We live in a time when there are people who are also doing everything they possibly can to destroy the "royal seed.”  They are destroying their children, and they want ours too! Athaliah is still out there today - alive and well. Is there a Jehosheba that will see the potential in our children and be willing to go against all the odds to make a difference for eternity?

 

Aunt Jehosheba realized God had a plan. She believed that Joash was worth protecting. The Bible tells us she hid him and his nursemaid, but specifically verse 3 says "And he was hid with her in the house of the Lord six years..."  She personally invested in him all she could. She took responsibility! She used what was available to her, and at the time, it was the house of the Lord. There is no better haven to hide our babies in than in the house of the Lord!

 

His Grandmother, Athaliah, was reigning and would no doubt have killed him had she known her first attempt failed. For six years, Jehosheba invested and took many risks to keep him hidden. He was not her problem or responsibility, but she saw the value of one. No doubt this took courage, determination, discernment, and on and on we could go. Her plan was to keep him sheltered just as long as she could. Someday, he would grow up and then it may no longer be possible. But for the time that she had with him, she poured her all into it.

 

She knew if he could be kept from destruction, God had a will and plan for his future. Whatever struggles and burdens she went through, she felt it was worth it. I wonder what some of the conversations may have been like between her and Joash. I can’t help but imagine it may have gone something like this…

 

“Can I go over to their house and play?”

“No, Joash, that may not be safe.” 

 

“Can I go on the other side of these walls today?”

“Not today. You will not be safe if you get caught outside these walls.”

 

“Why do I always have to stay in the house of the Lord?”

“Because it is the safest place for you.”

 

“Did I hear you praying for me last night?”

“Yes, Joash, I was praying a wall of prayer around you again.”

 

We don’t know what they were saying, but I believe with all my heart she was investing all she could, while she could, so he would make it to God's divine plan for his life. She was preparing him for the day he could no longer be hidden. When that day came, reinforcements came! 

 READ 2 Kings 11:4-12

 

There came a day when Joash needed to be surrounded by those committed to the same cause. He was getting older, and no doubt keeping him hidden was becoming more and more difficult for Aunt Jehosheba. Uncle Jehoiada, who was the high priest, stepped in and began to line up the guards and captains. He wanted as many people involved as possible. Imagine the excitement and surprise when those gathered around discovered that the royal seed was alive! For six years, they thought the royal seed was gone...but God! 

It is still the same today as it was back then. We need the people of God working together to raise our young people. In our effort to "shelter" the kids, please don't protect them from the very people God may someday use to help them safely reach the place God has set for them. I have observed with my own children many times through the years, it was the investment and the reinforcement of God’s people around us that helped them make right choices at major turning points in their life. I am so thankful for those people that surrounded my kids and were there, so I did not have to do it alone.

Don't shut off your pastor, his wife, godly Sunday school teachers, missionaries, Spirit-filled church members, and the list could go on and on. Have them in your life, surround your children and do all you can to expose your kids to them and their godly influence. Don't criticize them and run them down! There may come a day your children will need to go to them and get just what they need to keep them on the path God has laid for them.  

 

I am aware there will be times they may be hurt by those very people, but they will be fine. They will even be able to learn from those hurts.  

 

In 2 Kings 11:13-16, we see Joash is crowned king, and they finally got rid of wicked Athaliah!

 

READ 2 Kings12:1,2 and 2 Chronicles 24:1, 2 

 

These two passages are the only two times that Zibiah, Joash’s mother, is mentioned. I find it interesting that her name is mentioned both times, and then it says that Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. I can't help but believe she was somewhere, maybe in the shadows, also investing in her son. No doubt, as a single mom, with her mother-in-law bent to destroy her son, she needed help. We don’t know all the facts, but that is something to think about!

 

I wonder, was she the one that told Jehosheba that her son was alive and that she could find him lying among the slain sons of the king? Did she even know? Maybe she was in a place where she knew her mother-in-law would find her son. The Bible doesn't tell us, but my mind has enjoyed pondering some of the untold details. The point is, this single mom needed help raising her son, and God raised up others to be there to help her. Imagine if she’d tried to do it alone?

 

The Bible gives no record that Jehosheba ever had children of her own. What we do know is this - God used her to rescue and help preserve the royal seed. 

 

In our churches we have so many young people to help. We have bus kids, teens whose parents are unsaved, grandparents raising their grandkids, single moms, single dads, or homes where only one parent is saved, as well as homes with godly parents. Every one of these children deserve our love, prayers, investment, and attention.


We all need to be unified, working together for the same purpose, doing our part to see that we make a difference helping this generation find God's best for their lives.  

 Will you pray?

Will you speak words of encouragement or warning?

Will you invest?

Will you let that young mom know you are praying for her?

Will you let those saved parents know you are available for their children?

Will you live an example that young people could follow?

Will you help protect and rescue?

 

It will take each of us working together to see these young people do what is right in the sight of the Lord. You might get discouraged from time to time when those we have invested in choose to walk their own way. Their story is not over. God's Word does not return void. Try not to focus on the one face that left and went into the world but focus on the faces that have stayed! Keep praying and keep investing! Will you be a Jehosheba...that someone’s lifeline to help them get to God?

 

I'm a product of others investing in me - reinforcing my parents’ guidance in my life. The lady that led me to the Lord as a 7-year-old many years later would become my teen Sunday School teacher. I went to her many times for advice, and she would always steer me in the right direction. My own children have stayed in God's will repeatedly at different crossroads in their lives all because godly people were surrounding them. Look around you, and more than likely you will find children in your life who could benefit greatly from your influence.  As a parent, I’m so very thankful for all of God’s people - far and near, that joined with me and my husband to assist us in helping our children discover God’s best.


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