One Man’s Victory* (The Story of Jehoiada) - Download PDF Article
The story of Yahowyada (yeh-ho-yaw-daw’ Jehoiada) is a story about the stand of one man against spiritual wickedness; a story of success against great odds; a story to pattern our lives with in order to be holy and acceptable unto our Father. Our individual lives influence other lives either positively or negatively. When we go to sleep, if Christ has not returned, our life leaves with it a legacy to mankind. Yahowyada, the priest of Yahweh, single-handedly transformed the nation of Judah. Judah was sacrificing to Yahweh offerings that had the foul stink of death. Yahowyada returned Judah into the way of righteousness; to offer up to Yahweh the sweet smelling fragrance of holiness. We have been called to walk in love––even as, the Christ also, loved us, and delivered himself up in our behalf, an offering and sacrifice unto Yahweh, for a fragrance of sweet smell (Eph. 5:2). Yahowyada is our example of what one man can do.
Yahowyada lived to be 130 years old. His story unfolds in the reign of the King of Judah, Joash but the story of Yahowyada the priest actually begins in the age of the King of Judah, whose name is Asa, over 90 years earlier. King Asa walked in the ways of David most of his life. King Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, walked in the way of his father Asa doing that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh. This statement would be wonderful if that was the beginning and the end of King Jehoshaphat’s life but that was not the case. King Jehoshaphat, as do many Christians, believe that they can fellowship with brethren who appear to be following Yahweh with their whole heart but when their actions are weighted according to the Word of Yahweh, they are found to be wanting. King Jehoshaphat, who had a good heart, made a costly mistake when he became friends with King Ahab, Queen Jezebel and their son Ahaziah; all of whom were Hebrews but all were lawless in their doings. This unholy union between righteousness and unrighteousness had consequences that King Jehoshaphat did not foresee, the result being that all his sons would die a premature and violent death.
Second Chronicles 18:1 states, “And it came to pass, when Jehoshaphat had riches and honor, in abundance, that he contracted, by marriage, affinity with Ahab.” The phrase, “that he contracted, by marriage, affinity with Ahab,” apparently means that Jehoshaphat married his son Jehoram to Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab by Jezebel of Sidon. Athaliah would have a devastating effect upon the nation of Judah, drawing Yahowyada into action. Yahweh has warned us to, “Be not getting diversely yoked with unbelievers; for what partnership hath righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Beliar? Or what part hath a believer with an unbeliever” (2 Cor. 6:14-17)? Devastation is brought about when one is yoked to an unbeliever such as in the case of Samson and Delilah and Solomon and his wives.
Jezebel, the mother of Athaliah, was a murderer. This murdering trait of Jezebel will be passed on to her daughter, Athaliah, who was introduced by Jehoshaphat unto his son, Jehoram, becoming Jehoram’s wife, Queen of Judah. Jehoram, upon the death of his father, Jehoshaphat, had his brothers murdered, which was probably advised by his wife. Why do I say this? Athaliah, upon the death of her son that she had with Jehoram, whose name is Ahaziah, had all the royal seed of the house of Judah murdered, which enabled her to reign over Judah. Now, the wickedness that was residing in Israel, which came from Ahab and Jezebel, now infested Judah, as a pestilence, through their daughter, Athaliah. Athaliah, before her reign as Queen, which occurred after the death of her son, corrupted her husband, Jehoram, in his reign and her son, Ahaziah, in his short reign, by being the counselor of both of them. This corruption entered Judah with the help of a good servant of Yahweh, Jehoshaphat, even though it was not his intention but because of his disobedience to the scriptures either through ignorance or obstinacy of heart the plague entered! Possibly, the result of his actions helped contribute to the murder of his own sons and his great grandsons even though Jehoram and Athaliah are ultimately responsible. The worship of Baal now occurs in Judah because a righteous King named Jehoshaphat was partly seduced away from the Word of Yahweh by his fellow Hebrew brother and sister, Ahab and Jezebel. One man not adhering continually to the Word of Yahweh all of his life can have devastating consequences on following generations. The priest, Yahowyada, was serving Yahweh in this seducing and ever changing environment.
When I said all of the royal seed of Ahaziah, son of Athaliah and Jehoram, was murdered, there was one exception. One of the royal seed of Ahaziah was rescued from his grandmother, Athaliah and hidden away for six years while she reigned. His name was Joash. This is where the priest, Yahowyada, who was over 90 years old at the time, comes into focus. He hid the child, who was the only seed of David left, from whom would come the Messiah, in the house of Elohim for six years. The immense spiritual significance of the actions of Jehoram and Athaliah was to stop the birth of the Redeemer of mankind, Yahshua the Christ! Yahowyada’s actions of valor extinguished the deadly fire released by the dragon through Jehoram and Athaliah upon the seed of David. Revelations chapter twelve writes of a similar attack by the dragon, which also resulted in a victory for Yahweh.
“In the seventh year Yahowyada strengthened [chazaq] himself…” and brought out the seed of David, Joash, making war with Athaliah, who would be slain. Chazaq means “to strengthen, prevail, harden, be courageous, be firm, be resolute,” which is what Yahowyada did; “And Yahowyada solemnised a covenant, between himself and all the people, and the king,––that they should become a people unto Yahweh” (2 Ch. 23:16). Yahowyada gathered the Levites together to protect the king from his grandmother as he was about to be revealed unto the people of Judah. (The Levites being used as Yahweh’s enforcers goes back to Moses dealing with the Israelites after they had worshipped a golden calf.) Then all the people entered into the house of Baal and brake it down, and, his altars and his images, brake they in pieces,––and, Mattan the priest of Baal, they slew, before the altars” (2 Ch. 23:17). “Seven years old, was Joash when he began to reign, and, forty years, reigned he, in Jerusalem,––and, the name of his mother, was Zibiah, of Beersheba. And Joash did that which was right, in the eyes of Yahweh,–all the days of Yahowyada the priest” (2 Ch. 24:1-2). “…Then were they offering ascending–sacrifices in the house of Yahweh, continually, all the days of Yahowyada. But Yahowyada waxed old and became satisfied with days, and died,––a hundred and thirty years old, when he died.” (2 Ch. 24:14-15).
“Now, after the death of Yahowyada, came the rulers of Judah, and bowed themselves down unto the king,––then, hearkened the king unto them. And they forsook the house of Yahweh, Elohim of their fathers, and served the Sacred Stems, and the images,––so there was wrath against Judah and Jerusalem, for this their guilt. And he sent among them prophets, to bring them back unto Yahweh,––and they testified against them, but they would not give ear. And, the spirit of Elohim, clothed Zechariah son of Yahowyada the priest, and he took his stand above the people,––and said unto them, Thus, saith Elohim, Wherefore are, ye, transgressing the commandments of Yahweh, so that ye cannot prosper, because ye have forsaken Yahweh, therefore hath he forsaken you. So they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones, by the commandment of the king,––in the court of the house of Yahweh. Thus Joash the king, remembered not, the lovingkindness which Yahowyada his father had done for him, but slew his son,––and, as he died, he said, Yahweh see and require!” (2 Ch. 24:17-22). Judah chose darkness after the death of Yahowyada resulting in them being conquered by a few men from Syria because Yahweh was no longer protecting them. Syria spoiled Jerusalem and destroyed all of its rulers, leaving Joash with a sore disease, to be murdered in his own bed at the age of forty-seven.
How important was the life of Yahowyada, a ninety year old priest, in the life of Joash and in the holiness and prosperity of Judah? Priceless! His obedience to Yahweh saved the seed of David allowing us to be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. He also held Judah together for many years because of his uncompromising stand upon the Word of Yahweh. Other men’s lives reflect this same lesson of leadership.
Moses kept Israel in holiness throughout his days but in order for this to be accomplished, many thousands of Hebrews had to die because of their rebellion against Yahweh; 3,000, 14,700 and 24,000. Yahshua (Joshua) as did Yahowyada kept Israel serving Yahweh in righteousness all of his days. Gideon’s leadership delivered Israel from bondage and kept them in peace for forty years but upon his death Israel returned to wickedness, as also did Judah upon the death of Yahowyada. The Apostle Paul kept the Body of the Christ in holiness but warned them by saying, “I, know, that there will enter, after my departure, grievous wolves into your midst, not sparing the little flock; and, from among your own selves, will arise men speaking distorted things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29).
How important is one righteous man or woman’s stand upon the Word of Yahweh and not upon religion? Whole societies have remained pure and safe while these individuals live. Wolves are present and are circling the flock but because of a single individual’s leadership they must wait for the person’s death to ravage the flock. These individuals, as did Moses, will protect Yahweh’s people at all cost even if other people have to die, which can be a purge of wickedness. Moses said “…Who is for Yahweh? …To me! Then gathered unto him all the sons of Levi. And he said to them––Thus, saith Yahweh, Elohim of Israel, Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh,––pass through and return, from gate to gate, in the camp, and slay ye every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbour” (Ex. 32:26-27). Yahowyada acted in a similar manner as Moses; “And Yahowyada the priest gave unto the captains of hundreds, the spears and the bucklers and the shields, which belonged to King David,––which were in the house of Elohim. And he caused all the people to stand, even every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right corner of the house as far as the left corner of the house, by the altar and the house,––near the king round about” (2 Ch. 23:9-10). The Apostle Paul, when he saw that people were not walking with straightforwardness as regardeth the truth of the glad–message, reproved the Apostle Peter to the face before the brethren as did Moses to Aaron. Many good and righteous individuals, such as Aaron, are loved and liked but they are not feared. These individuals can be manipulated by the masses, even though they are righteous, such as was Aaron. On the other hand Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Yahowyada and Paul were men who were loved and feared but probably were not liked by the masses because of their unmovable stand on the Word of Yahweh! How many leaders today would tell their congregation to deliver one of their members “…unto Satan, for the destruction of the flesh,––that, the spirit, may be saved in the day of the Lord,” as did the Apostle Paul by revelation. The two witnesses in the book of Revelations will be men of such caliber, who will take on the wickedness of the world. Elijah was also such an individual who stood uncompromising upon the Word of Yahweh, who had the prophets of Baal killed. We need more of such men, who like Yahowyada, will probably not be liked but they will be greatly feared by those who are workers of unrighteousness. Workers of unrighteousness will say, as did Athaliah, “…Conspiracy! Conspiracy” (2 Ch. 23:13) but Yahweh tells us, as he did his servant, Yahshua (Joshua), to be “Firm and Bold!”
(*When quoting scriptures, from the Rotherham Emphasized Bible New Testament, I will substitute the Hebrew word Yahshua for Jesus, Yahweh and Elohim for God and the LORD and Anointed for Christ.)
© 2005-2013 Chuck Cunningham