The Lord has allowed me to be a mother for 44 years. Knowing how so many struggle with infertility, I am truly grateful. And, my heart’s desire from the first day was that I would be a godly mother, passing along a love for the Lord and His Word to my children. That would be my legacy that they would remember when I go to be with Jesus.
So, as I was reading through 2 Chronicles recently, I got to chapter 21 and read this: “He passed away, to no one’s regret.” (2 Chronicles 21:4) What a sad epitaph!
King Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, was a bad dude. In 2 Chronicles 21:4, he killed all his brothers along with some other princes of Judah (likely David’s descendants). Get rid of the rivals and any other claimant to the throne of David. Why was he so wicked when his father had been so good?
One clue is in verse 6, “He married a daughter of Ahab.” Athaliah, Jehoram’s wife, was the daughter of a wicked man (Ahab) and his even more wicked wife (Jezebel). It matters who your wife is! It matters who your mama is! And for a man, the mama of his children.
Athaliah’s influence over Jehoram was bad. He had co-ruled with his father Jehoshaphat for 5 years. But, as soon as that godly influence was gone, Jehoram made quick work of evil. In just a few short years (<6), he rebuilt the high places, leading the people of Jerusalem astray.
Mother-in-law Jezebel and wife Athaliah were both strong Baal worshippers. They were women who manipulated their husbands and children for Satan’s purposes rather than for God’s purposes. The prophet Elijah, by this time an aged man, spoke God’s words to Jehoram by a letter basically saying, “You made a bad choice with your life and destroyed men better than you. The consequences of your sin will be severe.” He was hated by his people. He wasn’t even buried with the other kings. “He passed away, to no one’s regret (verse 20).”
But God protected 1 descendant (that’s all He needs), the one influenced for the least amount of time by his father—Ahaziah, age 22. All Azahiah’s older brothers had been killed by raiders. Yet, poor Ahaziah was manipulated by his wicked mother.
“He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing (2 Chronicles 22:3-4).” It matters who your mama is!
Jezebel and her daughter were horrible influences on their husbands and their sons. Bad wife. Bad mama. Ahaziah’s life was cut short; he ruled as king for only 1 year. He was executed according to God’s plan. But, the manipulation of wicked women doesn’t end here…
Athaliah—daughter of wicked Jezebel, wicked influential wife of Jehoram and wicked influential mother of Ahaziah—takes over the throne as queen as soon as she hears her son Ahaziah is dead. The first thing she did was to kill all her grandchildren! Oh my! This woman had no heart at all!
“She proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah (22:10).”
Thankfully a godly priest and his wife (Ahaziah’s sister from another mother) stole the youngest boy away and kept him hidden for 6 years, preserving the Davidic dynasty. God always preserves a remnant for Himself. This boy was likely the only descendant of David left who could be eligible for the throne. Satan tried to wipe out David’s line to end the promise of the Messiah. God is more powerful! Praise you, Lord!
Because of the influence of 3 women, very bad things happened to Israel and Judah. You probably know a woman today who is wrecking her family. Blowing it up. Women have tremendous influence over men. In Mark 6, King Herod didn’t want to kill John the Baptist. Who manipulated the execution? A woman and her daughter.
Dear women, make sure you are not allowing evil influences to control you in how you influence the men in your life or the children in your life. Be the godly mama, not the bad mama.